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Romney's ex-classmate: It was assault 11 May 2012 Phillip Maxwell wishes he had done something to stop it. Maxwell, a Michigan attorney, is still haunted by what he claims he witnessed on the campus of the state's elite Cranbrook School in 1965: a young Mitt Romney and a group of friends holding down a classmate named John Lauber and cutting off chunks of his long hair. "It was not an event you take a lot of pride in. And it was that way for all of us," Maxwell told CNN. Maxwell confirmed the story, first reported in the Washington Post. However, he insisted the incident was far worse than a high school prank. "I'm a lawyer. I know what an assault is. This kid was scared. He was terrified. That's an assault," Maxwell said.