BARRE – A Norwich University cadet is accused of using a stun gun on another cadet and assaulting him.
Michael Anastasio, 20, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Washington County criminal court to a misdemeanor count of simple assault. If convicted, Anastasio faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison. He was released on conditions. He also faces a hazing complaint in Washington County civil court.
Officer Logan M. Potskowski, of the Northfield police, said in his affidavit an assault was reported at Norwich University Monday night. Potskowski said he arrived on campus and and was met by an upperclassman who took him to the barracks for the Corps of Cadets. The upperclassman told Potskowski the victim was “terrified” of Anastasio and “there is a culture of fear going on in the Platoon.”
Potskowski then met with the victim who he said appeared frightened and shaking. He said the victim is a freshman at the school and a “Rook” in the Corps of Cadets. He told Potskowski the cadets had a stun gun since the beginning of the school year and would use it on Rooks to motivate them.
The victim told Potskowski about a month ago the stun gun broke and Anastasio told the victim he could “earn some points” if a new stun gun appeared. Potskowski said Anastasio is an upperclassman and a member of the corps.
The victim told Potskowski he bought a new stun gun off of Amazon and gave it to Anastasio.
A few weeks later the victim told Potskowski Anastasio came up to him and told him it was a “privilege” to have the stun gun used on him and the victim should want the stun gun to be used on him for the “Old NU.” A few days after that the victim reported Anastasio came into his room, shut the blinds, locked the door and used the stun gun on the victim’s right leg.
The victim told Potskowski after the stun gun was used on him Anastasio told the victim he was “earning your points.”
He reported days later Anastasio got a hold of the victim’s ID card and told the victim the only way to get it back was to be shocked by the stun gun again. He then used the stun gun on the victim’s right arm.
The victim told Potskowski Anastasio also punched him in the chest on a separate occasion.
Potskowski said he then spoke with Patrick Knapp, an administrator for the corps. Knapp told Potskowski Anastasio was “bullying” the victim because the victim is a “small kid.” Potskowski said he asked Knapp if Anastasio had been looked at for misconduct in the past and Knapp said Anastasio is a “repeat offender.”
Potskowski said he spoke to Anastasio who reported the victim had asked him to use the stun gun on the victim multiple times until he finally “gave in” and shocked him.
Norwich said in a statement Tuesday, “On the night of Monday, Oct. 29, Norwich University officials learned of an allegation of possible assault between two students and contacted Northfield Police to make a formal report. We have begun our administrative process to gather all the facts, and this appears to be an unfortunate yet isolated incident. We cannot discuss this case specifically as the investigation is ongoing. The safety of all Norwich students and employees is of paramount concern to Norwich University.”