Authorities investigate death of New York college freshman during fraternity ritual

Published December 12, 2013

| FoxNews.com

Authorities in Pennsylvania are investigating the death of a New York City college student during a fraternity ritual.

Chen "Michael" Deng, 19, was brought to a Wilkes-Barre hospital early Sunday morning in critical condition, The Pocono Record reports. Authorities say Deng was injured at a Tunkhannock Township residence, where about 30 members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity had traveled for the weekend.

Deng, a freshman from Baruch College in New York City, was one of four pledges to the fraternity. He was allegedly injured during a ritual in the yard. Police didn't immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.

"He got tackled too many times," Monroe County District Attorney E. David Christine said. He said Deng was forced to run a gauntlet blindfolded and with a heavy weight on his back. The teenager suffered a fatal brain injury.

Christine says charges will be filed, but he won't decide on which charges to file until police finish their investigation

Deng suffered a head injury and was taken inside the home, officials said. When he didn’t recover “after some time,” he was driven to the emergency room at a nearby hospital, where he was unresponsive and listed in critical condition, the New York Post reported.

He was placed on life support, but reportedly died Monday from major brain trauma.

Pi Delta Psi identifies itself as “an Asian American cultural fraternity” founded in 1994 with a mission “to spread Asian American cultural awareness.” It has more than 20 chapters in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

The fraternity issued a statement calling the incident an "unsanctioned event" that "was strictly prohibited by our organization." The college says it had no knowledge about the event.

Click for more from the New York Post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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