Greek Life Gone Wrong - 18 Students Charged In Fraternity's Hazing-Related Death

A hazing death has led to 18 students at Penn State University facing various criminal charges. Tim Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore, became drunk and fell during a fraternity “pledge night” earlier this year. Piazza was left overnight, unconscious and clearly injured, by fraternity members who did not seek help for him.

Note that eight of the students face charges of involuntary manslaughter, as does the fraternity itself (Penn State's chapter of Beta Theta Pi). The 10 other students are charged with hazing and/or furnishing alcohol to minors. Authorities also claim that some fraternity brothers tampered with evidence to try to prevent an investigation.

The death of Timothy Piazza, an engineering student from Lebanon, N.J., on February 4th was a nightmare for the university community. The fraternity from the university and the president of Penn State imposed strict new regulations on fraternities and sororities, including banning alcohol and all-day parties.

The investigation lasted more than two months and the arrests were announced on Friday by the local district attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, at a press conference.

The lengthy grand jury indictment was largely based on videotape from surveillance cameras inside the fraternity house that recorded Piazza’s final hours, and text messages between the fraternity members.

The party included a pledge initiation ritual in which the fraternity pledges lined up for a “gauntlet” of drinking stations, according to the indictment. First, they passed a vodka bottle down the line before they moved onto the next stop, where they were required to “shotgun” a beer, and then a second, where they drank from a “wine bag,” then went to the basement to play beer pong. The pledges were also supposed to do an elephant walk where they line up, grab the person behind them's penis, stick their thumb into the rectum of the man in front of them and walk in a circle. Whoever breaks the circle has to stick the thumb in their mouth.

Piazza was seen “staggering, while hunched over” in the video around 10:40 pm. He was helped to a couch by one of the fraternity brothers. They tried to get him to stand up, and he was seen stumbling toward the basement a while later.

When he was found later, he was unconscious and unresponsive, his arms limp as fraternity brothers splashed his face to try and revive him. His chest was bruised and his eyes were shut. They stayed near him all night, and he eventually awoke, but then passed out again.

The fraternity members did not call for an ambulance until 10:48 am, almost 12 hours after Piazza was found unconscious.

Source: The New York Times
Photo: YouTube

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