BPD calls for arrests in Manatee High assistant coach Rod Frazier case

Herald Staff WritersApril 3, 2013 

Manatee assistant coach Rod Frazier celebrates a touchdown with Kelvin McKnight as they play St. Petersburg Northeast in 2012. FILE PHOTO/TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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MANATEE -- The Bradenton Police Department has asked the state to make arrests in the investigation of whether Manatee High School assistant football coach Rod Frazier had improper contact with a student, Police Chief Mike Radzilowski said Tuesday.

The police department delivered results of its investigation to the state attorney's office a few weeks ago, the Herald has reported. Included in the report are requests to arrest from the detectives, Radzilowski said.

Radzilowski declined to reveal investigation details, including the people detectives say should be arrested.

"We are not making any comment," the chief said. "We sent our case to the state attorney and some capias requests. We are not saying anything about it. That would have to come from the state attorney."

Assistant State Attorney Dawn Buff, a prosecutor working the Frazier case, said no arrests had been made. She declined further comment.

Buff said the state attorney's office usually reviews a police investigation and

sometimes conducts its own probe before deciding whether to pursue prosecution. There is no set amount of time such a review might take, Buff said.

The Bradenton Police Department began its investigation Feb. 7 after allegations Frazier had inappropriate contact with a former student. He is now suspended from his duties as assistant coach and parent liaison at Manatee High.

"We've interviewed over 50 people, a combination of all kinds of people -- students, former students, teachers, administrators. We went wherever the interview led us," Radzilowski said.

One of those interviewed was Dr. Margaret Kirkland, a Bradenton dentist. She said she was interviewed by Bradenton Police detectives because her two daughters participated on the Manatee High School weightlifting team from 2007 to 2010.

Kirkland was a volunteer assistant coach then and Frazier was Hurricane head weightlifting coach, Kirkland said.

"They wanted to know what I knew," Kirkland said Tuesday. "Some of the things I observed as well as others was the girls jumping on him, straddling him. I saw him rubbing up against girls inappropriately, massaging them when they weren't completely dressed."

Kirkland said she saw Frazier go into the girls locker room when the athletes had their weightlifting singlets down and were just in their bras.

"I observed it more than the other parents because I was around him and the girls more," Kirkland said.

Kirkland said she never talked to Frazier because he was in a position of authority.

"I was there to spot them and help with lifts," Kirkland said. "I didn't say anything to him or the girls. But let me say this, I have been doing competitive powerlifting for 12 years and a coach doesn't have to act the way he acted."

Calls to Eddie Mulock, Frazier's attorney, were not returned Tuesday.

In a prepared statement, Manatee County School Superintendent Rick Mills said the district will not make any judgments about school district employees until the investigation concludes.

"Any recommendation that may be made by the Bradenton Police Department may or may not result in charges," Mills said in his statement. "Only the State Attorney's Office can make that determination. That said, we hope that the community will join us in reserving final judgment until all facts are revealed. If charges are eventually brought against any of our personnel, the district will take appropriate action, which may include placing employees on administrative leave while the matter is processed through the judicial system."