Player charged with ethnic intimidation helps Brown City to regional title game


MONTROSE — A Brown City High School student charged in a high-profile criminal case helped the Green Devils’ basketball team to a big win Monday.

Anthony Ford, a senior forward for Brown City, scored seven points and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds as the Green Devils beat Millington 59-55 in the Class C regional semifinal at Hill-McCloy High School in Montrose.

In a Feb. 10 arraignment, Ford, along with Jacob Jonathan Peters, also a Brown City resident, was charged with one count of ethnic intimidation in Tuscola County District Court. The charge is the result of an incident that took place Nov. 12 near a residence on Smith Road in Koylton Township. According to a story that ran in The Advertiser on Feb. 11: “A person described as being of ‘Mexican Descent’ awoke to find boxes taped together in (the) form of a makeshift wall, blocking the driveway. The boxes were painted in red spray paint with messages alluding to President Trump “taking back America” and “Mexicans suck.”

The charge is a felony punishable by up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,000.

The duo are scheduled to go to trial on the charge May 23, according to Tuscola County Court records.

The incident, which took place just days after Donald Trump won the Presidential Election, was widely reported in regional media.

Tony Burton, Brown City athletic director, told The Advertser that the school was aware of the charges.

“That’s dealt with through our athletic council, so our high school principal (Neil Kohler) would have dealt with that,” Burton said. “But yes, we’re aware of it.”

Burton, who is on the council, said the athletic council decides the fate of student athletes, and that Kohler is council head. The council decided to suspend Ford for 20 percent of the season — a total of four games — according to Burton.

“That was what was decided,” Burton said. “(Kohler) could speak on this more than I could, he was probably more involved than I was.”

Neither Kohler or Brown City Superintendent Doug Muxlow returned a phone message from The Advertiser before Tuesday’s deadline.

Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene told The Advertiser in February that Ford and Peters turned themselves in to authorities. And that “One of the defendant’s had previously been in a relationship with a member of the victim’s household.”

Ford, and his Brown City teammates, take on state power Flint Powers today for a regional championship in Montrose.

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