Published May 07, 2008
NEW ORLEANS – Ten Tulane University fraternity members faced felony charges Wednesday and the school suspended Pi Kappa Alpha following accusations that the group burned pledges with hot water and pepper spray during a "hell night" initiation.
The fraternity members face felony battery charges — punishable by up to 15 years in prison — in an alleged hazing incident in which two pledges received second- and third-degree burns from boiling water and crab boil being poured on their bodies.
"The two students were treated at a local hospital for severe burns that occurred during the hazing," Officer Gary Flot, a New Orleans police spokesman, said in a news release.
A Tulane spokesman refused to comment on the allegations or the status of the students on Wednesday, but the school issued a news release saying it had suspended its chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and would investigate.
"This fraternity is no longer a recognized fraternity at Tulane," the school's news release said. "The university has zero tolerance for any type of hazing or other incident which can potentially endanger the well being of any student."
Eight of the fraternity members had turned themselves in to New Orleans police by Wednesday. They were booked with aggravated second-degree battery.
Two others were still being sought.
The pledges were scalded with hot crab boil and pepper spray late April 26 or early April 26 to see who could stand the most pain, Frank D'Amico Jr., an attorney for one of the victims, told WWL-TV.
D'Amico did not return calls from The Associated Press.
Two of the victims had second- and third-degree burns to various parts of the body and were treated at Touro Hospital. A Pi Kappa Alpha national spokesman said Wednesday the fraternity would have a statement later.