Academy investigating allegation cadet thrown out window
DENVER – The Air Force Academy is looking into allegations that a former cadet pushed a younger cadet out a dorm window with a 30-foot drop, breaking his back, the school confirmed Wednesday.The father of the victim, Charles Khan of St. Louis, said his son, Nicholas, was attacked in March because he had reported the former cadet for harassing a female cadet. Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker confirmed investigators were trying to determine whether there was evidence to support a charge of aggravated assault.The name of the former cadet, who graduated in June and now is assigned to Hill Air Force Base in Utah, was not released by Whitaker. In the academy’s 51-year history, no cadet has been charged with trying to murder another cadet.The attack was first reported in The Gazette of Colorado Springs and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.Charles Khan, in a telephone interview Wednesday, said the trouble began when his son intervened on behalf of a female freshman cadet who allegedly had been pressured by the senior to have sex. When the female broke off the relationship the senior blamed cadet Khan.The senior and other upperclassmen then began to harass cadet Khan, a freshman, forcing him to endure extra room and uniform inspections, Khan said.Khan said that on March 13, the senior came to cadet Khan’s room and told his roommate to leave. Once inside the room he saw a written report on the harassment that cadet Khan was preparing and became enraged. He grabbed scissors, ripped out the window screen and called cadet Khan over to the window, telling him someone was calling for him. Then he threw him out the window.”I understand that there was an investigation going on and we were told the assailant would be held back at the academy. I found out about two weeks ago that he had not only graduated but was allowed to move on to his next posting. It indicates to me they are not taking my son’s version of the story seriously,” said Charles Khan.He said the academy had quickly given his son a medical discharge, even though he wanted the option to return to the academy if he fully recovered from the injury.Whitaker said investigators completed their report Aug. 16. He said academy lawyers are reviewing it and will make recommendations to the academy’s commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida. A decision to file charges would have to be made by the superintendent, Lt. Gen. John Rosa.”What can you say as a parent to seeing your child go through so much pain, physical and emotional?” said Charles Khan.He said his son had enlisted in the Air Force hoping to learn discipline. “He hit the ground running and was nominated to attend the academy. As a father I’d like to see Nick get his life back. He found his calling and had a passion for it: doing his duty for his country.”Vail – Colorado
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