Charges are allegedly on the way for members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity, after a hazing ritual that left one pledge dead.
A medical examiner ruled that 19-year-old college freshman at Baruch College and Pi Delta Psi pledge, Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng, passed away from “closed head injuries due to blunt forced trauma,” after participating in a weekend retreat with the fraternity.
According to reports, 30 fraternity members rented a house in the Poconos, and made the pledges play a game called “the glass ceiling.” Deng and other pledges were allegedly blindfolded and while wearing a backpack with 20 pounds of sand, then forced to run a human gauntlet while other fraternity members tried to keep them from passing through by pushing them to the ground.
Deng suffered scratches and bruising on his knees, as well as swelling to the back of his head. He became unconscious and unresponsive, so other fraternity members carried him inside the cabin and set him down by the fireplace while they looked up his symptoms online.
They reportedly also changed his clothes, before finally taking him to the hospital 30 miles away. An hour and a half to two hours had gone by, and by the time Deng got to the hospital, he was pronounced brain dead.
He died a short time later.
According to police, not everyone who was there that night is cooperating with the investigation. Chief Harry Lewis with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department told reporters:
“Throughout this entire process, it’s taken a long time to figure out what exactly happened because people have not been straightforward with us.”
The fraternity is now suspended while the investigation continues. I’ll update this post as the charges are filed.
UPDATE: 2/17/14 9:50 AM
Authorities said on Friday that Deng’s death has been officially ruled a homicide.