KENMORE — A hazing ritual for high school students turned so violent that police are now involved.
Seven juniors were blindfolded, led into the woods and beaten with plastic pipes and metal rods, all so they could join an unsanctioned club — the Naked Vikings at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.
The club has been around for years, but after one mom saw her son’s painful injuries, she called the police.
Now, the club is banned and five recent graduates are the focus of a criminal investigation.
The boy who was hazed did not want to be interviewed, but his mother told police the violent beatings happened near Forsgren Park in Bothell Monday night.
Jeannie Collier lives right behind the park and when police showed up, they found students bent over a log, some with open, bleeding wounds and others suffering from hypothermia.
“We were woken up in the middle of the night,” Collier said. “It sounded like someone was staple-gunning someone — it was really loud.”
The Naked Vikings are known for such antics as dressing up in costume and wearing face paint to hype crowds at football games. Over the last few years, the district has investigated claims of hazing that involved the Naked Vikings but never found any evidence of wrongdoing until this week.
“It’s really sad,” said Collier said. “To be in a stupid club? You know, who cares?”
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department has not made any arrests but are continuing to investigate.