Baruch fraternity involved in hazing death shut down

Kristin Thorne has the latest from Gramercy Park.
December 16, 2013 11:30:52 AM PST
The fraternity involved in last week's hazing death of a freshman student has been terminated at Baruch College.

The national organization of Pi Delta Psi announced Monday it has revoked and terminated all affiliation with the Baruch chapter, after the initiation ritual that resulted in fatal injuries to 19-year old Chun "Michael" Deng.

In a statement, Pi Delta Psi said: "As a direct result of the unsanctioned and prohibited events that took place last weekend, Pi Delta Psi Fraternity has revoked and terminated all affiliation with the Baruch Colony, effective immediately. Baruch Colony has violated the values and rules of our organization, including our strict no hazing policy. As such, they shall no longer be recognized as having any association with Pi Delta Psi. Additionally, we will also revoke the individual memberships of any member found involved in this incident."

Deng suffered critical head injuries from blunt force trauma in the incident at a weekend retreat with other pledges in the Poconos.

Blindfolded and wearing a backpack containing 20 pounds of sand, his objective was to make it to a certain member without being tackled by other members, according to a police affidavit.

He was shoved, apparently fell and struck his head, and went unconscious, according to the affidavit. The fraternity brothers interviewed by police said they didn't know who shoved him.

The affidavit filed by a detective with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police said fraternity members did not call 911 and instead took him inside, where they changed his clothes and Googled his symptoms before three members took Deng to the closest hospital, where he died Monday.

The Luzerne County Coroner's office said Friday he died from head injuries due to blunt force trauma. The investigation into whether the death was a homicide or accidental is pending.

Monroe County District Attorney David Christine said criminal charges were forthcoming and he would wait until the probe was completed before deciding which charges to file and against whom.

The three fraternity brothers who took Deng to the hospital initially told investigators he had been injured when he fell and hit his head wrestling out in the snow, according to court papers. Later, they told authorities about the ritual, known as the "glass ceiling," and claimed it was dark outside and they didn't know who may have pushed Deng.

While they were at the hospital, one brother called back to the house to tell the members to dispose of "all fraternity memorabilia and items," the affidavit said. Police recovered vehicles, pledge paddles, frat sweatshirts, backpacks and clothing after executing a search warrant at the home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.