Former Carmel player apologizes to victim for bus assault

Attorney Robert Turner, left, with the parents of the victim.

Hamilton County - Now that all four of the former Carmel High School basketball players involved in a hazing incident have pleaded guilty, the family of one of their victims is speaking out.

Robert Kitzinger pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in connection with the school bus hazing incident. He won't spend any time in jail and wrote a letter of apology that the victim's father read Tuesday.

"I would like to apologize to you for my behavior on the bus ride back from the Terre Haute South game on February 22, 2010. Although it was my intent to include you in the post game horseplay which took place on the bus, I now understand that you did not take my actions as they were intended. If I made you feel threatened or uncomfortable with my conduct, then I certainly apologize for that behavior. I always thought you and I were able to joke and goof around when we saw each other, and I took that to mean we were friends. I never tried to "haze" you or to "bully" you, (or anything else), but if you did not find my conduct towards you to be friendly, then I had no right to try and include you in interactions in which you did not want to participate. I was the older and more experienced player and I should have been far more aware of your feelings than my behavior showed. I am please, and fortunate, that no one was injured by my actions, and I can assure you and your family that my conduct will never be called into question again. I appreciate your willingness to forgive my behavior, and I truly apologize for what I did on the bus."

Sincerely, Robert Kitzinger

The victim's family is planning to file a civil lawsuit against the Carmel school district because of the incident on the bus and in the locker room.