U.S. News


NYC College Hazing Death A Homicide, Coroner Says

Chun Deng died during a December 2013 hazing ritual in which he was beaten and knocked unconscious. The local coroner has ruled the death a homicide.
Posted at 6:10 PM, Feb 14, 2014

The tragic hazing death of a New York college freshman last December has now been ruled a homicide.

The New York Times reports Chun "Michael"Deng was a "bright, self-confident 19-year-old" who pledged an Asian-American fraternity at Baruch College in Manhattan. (Via The New York Times)

​Police say Pi Delta Psi fraternity brothers took Deng and three other pledges on an unsanctioned trip 100 miles away in Pennsylvania. CNN reports the pledges had to participate in a hazing ritual called "the glass ceiling." (Via WABC, CNN)

​​WNBC reports the pledges were blindfolded and forced to walk while wearing backpacks filled with 20 pounds of sand as they were repeatedly pushed by the other brothers.

Then, the ritual took a dark turn. Investigators say Deng was knocked unconscious after being hit repeatedly and falling to the ground.

But it was almost two hours before the brothers took Deng to a hospital. According to New York Daily News, police say the fraternity brothers carried Deng inside the house where they Googled his symptoms and even changed his clothes. Once at the hospital, Deng was declared brain dead.

Then authorities say the brothers lied about what had happened — telling police they were wrestling in the snow when Deng fell backward and hit his head. It wasn't until hours later that police learned of the hazing ritual.

Now, more than two months after the incident, the Luzerne County Coroner has ruled the death a homicide. (Via WCAU)

A University of Georgia fraternity is under investigation for a similar hazing stunt that occurred last month. Members are accused of beating pledges with their fists during an initiation. (Via WXIA)

And in Ohio, some high school upperclassmen wrestlers are accused of assaulting several freshmen wrestlers before a match in a suspected hazing stunt. (Via WJW-TV)

Baruch College has since permanently banned the Pi Delta Psi fraternity. It's unclear whether charges have been filed against any of the members yet, but the Monroe County district attorney said last year charges will come.