Frat Pledge’s Death By Hazing Ruled A HomicideBy: Amanda Crum - February 19, 2014
A fraternity pledge’s death following a bizarre hazing ritual in December has now been ruled a homicide after investigators say members of the fraternity conspired to cover up the man’s injuries before seeking help.
19-year old Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng was one of several young men pledging the Pi Delta Psi fraternity at Baruch College who was asked to participate in the “glass ceiling” game, which required each pledge to strap on a backpack filled with sand and then try to make it through a group of frat brothers who took turns tackling them. Deng was reportedly hit hard and fell, sustaining head injuries. He was eventually taken to the hospital, but died the following day of blunt force trauma to the head.
“The members of Pi Delta Psi left Deng unconscious and unresponsive for more than an hour inside a rented home in rural Tunkhannock Township, Pa., before taking him for help. They changed him into dry clothes and frantically Googled his symptoms — and then brought him to a hospital,” reads a police statement.
The college released a statement after Deng’s death, saying it had a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing and that the event was unsanctioned.
“Baruch College has a zero tolerance policy regarding hazing. Michael’s death is a deeply painful reminder that no individual should ever be put into a position where his or her personal safety is in jeopardy,” the statement read.
It’s unclear exactly what the charges will be and who will be involved, but authorities say that several members of the fraternity left the scene before police arrived for an interview and also tried to hide evidence of their involvement.
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