SOMERVILLE, TN (abc24.com) Fayette Ware High School freshman band member Brandon Henderson tells abc24.com he was caught off guard when his fellow bandmate, Artavious Anderson, grabbed him by the neck.
"At first, I thought he was playing," says Henderson.
But when he felt himself losing consciousness, he told Anderson to "chill out". According to Brandon, Anderson didn't chill out until Brandon's body went crashing face first to the ground.
"They told me I fractured a bone," he tells abc24.com. "It was like broke or something."
Katrina Henderson couldn't believe it when she heard her cousin had been hurt.
"The first thing I thought," she says, "was oh, my God. I'm not his mother. I'm not his sister. I'm just a first cousin and I was mad."
Henderson got angrier when she saw Brandon at the hospital.
"He was shaking," she says.
The idea that the 18-year-old Anderson was playing around so roughly with an underclassman like Brandon leaves Henderson shaking her head with skepticism.
"When you choke somebody until their prints are on their neck, that ain't horse playing," she tells abc24.com.
Artavious Anderson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Brandon's family is upset because the band director was supposed to be supervising the students, but they claim he wasn't.
Fayette Ware High School Principal Sonny Hicks says the school is investigating the matter to see what, if any, punishment will be handed down to band instructor David Burnett.