Westerville Police Call Senior Tag 'Tragedy Waiting To Happen'


UPDATED: Thursday April 19, 2012 7:14 PM

Central Ohio high school seniors are gearing up to participate in the annual tradition of senior tag, and police are worried, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported Thursday.

Senior tag is a game played by students who form assassination teams and eliminate opposing players by "tagging" them, usually with Nerf or squirt guns. The last team standing wins money.

Police said that the purse can exceed $1,000 but said that the payout is not as lofty as the risk, Kocot reported.

"This is a bad situation waiting to happen," Westerville police Chief Joe Morbitzer said.

Seniors in Worthington, Upper Arlington, Dublin, Pickerington and Westerville have organized senior tag contests in the past, Kocot reported.

Police said that the games have resulted in students driving through a yard full of children and a father popping the trunk of his daughter's trunk to find a naked teenager with a toy gun, among other situations.

Past players have faced criminal charges, including trespassing and public indecency, Kocot reported.

Morbitzer said that police have confiscated weapons that can be dangerous.

"Unfortunately, in today's society, you don't know if this is a play gun, (if) it's senior tag or (if) it's a real weapon," Morbitzer said.

In recent years, Morbitzer said, students have added a new rule to the game. Students who strip naked are immune and cannot be eliminated.

Morbitzer said that police feared that it was only a matter of time before a senior tag player is mistaken for a criminal.

"We want to avoid a bad situation like that from ever happening, because if it ever does, it's going to be tragic for a community," Morbitzer said.

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