RINDGE — A Massachusetts teenager accused of assaulting a Franklin Pierce University baseball player at a campus party last year is now scheduled for plea and sentencing hearing.
Travis Flagg, 19, of Gardner, Mass., was scheduled for trial in the Cheshire Superior Court in Keene next week for allegedly putting FPU baseball player Alejandro Lopez-Wheeler, 23, in the hospital with brain injuries. After he was arrested last week in Gardner, Mass., for an alleged vandalism incident, Flagg has notified the court that he now intends to plead guilty to charges in the case.
Flagg was at FPU on the night of Dec. 1, during a weekend of winter parties at the Rindge campus, when he allegedly hit Lopez-Wheeler. Flagg is not a Franklin Pierce student, and was on campus with a group of other non-students from the Gardner, Mass., area.
The Gardner group was denied entry to one of the university living quarters on Lakeview, being told the party was closing down for the night. Lopez-Wheeler was reportedly taunting the group by implying that he was going to kiss one of them, specifically Flagg, according to the police report filed in court.
Flagg was reportedly the target of Lopez-Wheeler’s taunts, and he engaged with Lopez-Wheeler a little later in the parking lot outside the living units, according to the police report. There, Flagg reportedly hit Lopez-Wheeler in the jaw, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head against the pavement and lose consciousness, the report states. Witnesses say Flagg was intoxicated at the time of the assault, and that the hit was a “sucker punch,” according to the police report.
Lopez-Wheeler has spent months recovering from brain injuries, according to court records.
Flagg was free on personal recognizance bail last year after the alleged assault, but Assistant County Attorney Jean Kilham recently filed a motion in court seeking Flagg’s arrest warrant for allegedly violating at least three of the conditions the court set for his release by getting drunk, staying out late, and vandalizing a woman’s car.
Gardner, Mass., police arrested Flagg last week, after 11 p.m., when he allegedly smashed the window of a woman’s car after getting out of a party where he had been drinking, according to the affidavit filed in court.
The plea and sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 12 in the Cheshire Superior Court.