The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 1, 2002; 3:38 PM
RICHMOND, Ind. –– A high school wrestling coach
who bit the head off a live sparrow at a party with his team served community
service rather than face an animal cruelty charge.
Aron Bright, a coach and history and geography teacher at Avon High School,
could have been sentenced to a maximum one year in prison and a $5,000 fine if
Bright, 31, served a two-week suspension without pay from the school and was
suspended from the Cloverdale Police Department, where he is a reserve officer.
Bright admitted to biting the head off the sparrow Dec. 28 at his parents'
home in Centerville while he and some assistant coaches, along with 15 varsity
wrestlers, were attending a two-day meet nearby.
Word of the incident spread around the school. Sheriff's investigators began
an investigation based on a complaint from an animal abuse group.
Prosecutors on Tuesday requested that the criminal charge against Bright be
dropped in exchange for his two days of community service.
Bright has said the incident was "innocent fun" intended to
motivate his team. He also expressed remorse and said he acted unprofessionally.