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Assassins game canceled; two students charged in Merrimack

MERRIMACK — Members of the senior class at Merrimack High School have since canceled the game of "Assassins" after a warning from local police, and two players are now facing reckless driving charges in connection with the game.

Last week, police issued a warning to students participating in the game, encouraging them to use common sense after two players were involved in a minor motor-vehicle accident Wednesday while trying to "eliminate" a target.

Jordan Miranda, 18, of 1 Franconia Drive, and Ethan Petroules, 17, of 4 Whitewood Drive, have both been charged with reckless driving for the incident.

According to police, Miranda was driving a 2001 Toyota Camry and attempting to leave his driveway Wednesday afternoon when a fellow student was standing in his path with a squirt gun trying to tag him and eliminate him from the "Assassins" game.

While trying to leave his driveway, Miranda was blocked by a 2003 Nissan Altima driven by Petroules. Police said Miranda struck Petroules' vehicle, causing damage to its driver's door and window.

If found guilty, the teens face possible fines of at least $500, according to police. They are scheduled to appear April 15 in 9th Circuit Court, Merrimack District Division, to answer the charges.

After the accident last week, Merrimack High Principal Kenneth Johnson stressed that the school does not condone the "Assassins" game nor is it organized by the school.

"It can have very serious consequences," Johnson said earlier. "But I don't want this to reflect badly on our students. This is not exclusive to Merrimack High School."

Merrimack police agreed, issuing a warning via social media outlets encouraging participants to use common sense and avoid reckless situations while playing the game.

Police said the motor-vehicle accident was "a serious error in judgment, and the involved parties are extremely lucky that no one was seriously injured during the collision."

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