Crime & Courts

Police: Hibriten High coach gave alcohol to students

A Caldwell County high school coach has been charged with supplying students with alcoholic beverages, Lenoir police say.

Joshua Dale Woodruff, who was on the staff at Hibriten High School and was listed as the school’s head wrestling coach, was arrested Monday. He was charged with three counts of giving a malt beverage or unfortified wine to a person younger than 21, police said.

Woodruff also was listed on the Hibriten High website as a student concerns specialist.

Police said they received tips from the public that alcohol have been provided to minors. Investigators said they determined that Woodruff had supplied alcohol to students at his residence between last Oct. 18 and Nov. 9.

Lenoir Police Chief Scott Brown said his department and the Caldwell County Schools launched a campaign against underage drinking about two months ago. The campaign is called Helping Elevate Awareness and Responsibility, or H.E.A.R.

“This is a disappointing incident,” Brown said of the arrest. “We have adopted a zero-tolerance policy and will work diligently with the Caldwell County Schools and the community to protect the safety of our students.”

It is not clear whether Woodruff is still employed by the Caldwell County Schools.

Brown asked that anyone with information about underage drinking contact police at 828-757-2100 or Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300.