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Pi Delta Psi fraternity severs ties to NY chapter after student's hazing death

The Pi Delta Psi fraternity says it has severed its ties with one of its chapters in New York after a 19-year-old student died during a hazing ritual.

“As a direct result of the unsanctioned and prohibited events that took place last weekend, Pi Delta Psi Fraternity has revoked and terminated all affiliation with the Baruch Colony, effective immediately,” the fraternity’s president, Andy Meng, said in a statement obtained by FoxNews.com on Monday.

About 30 members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity had spent the weekend at a rented house in Tunkhannock Township, in the Pocono Mountains about 100 miles west of New York City, according to a statement on the Monroe County district attorney's website. Chun "Michael" Deng was one of four pledges.

At some point early Sunday last week, Deng ran a gauntlet blindfolded and with a heavy weight on his back, District Attorney David Christine said, in a ritual that fraternity members apparently called Glass Ceiling. He was knocked unconscious and carried inside the house, where he remained for some time before fraternity members drove him to an emergency room in Wilkes-Barre, about 30 miles away, the statement on the website said.

The Baruch College freshman died Dec. 6, one day after friends brought him to the hospital unconscious and in critical condition with major brain trauma.

“Baruch Colony has violated the values and rules of our organization, including our strict no hazing policy,” Meng said. “As such, they shall no longer be recognized as having any association with Pi Delta Psi. Additionally, we will also revoke the individual memberships of any member found involved in this incident.”

Police are trying to determine the lag time between the injury and Deng’s arrival at the hospital, Christine said.

Baruch College, which is located in New York City, has said it had no knowledge about the event.

But Christine said it’s not the first time that Pi Delta Psi has come to the Poconos.

“They’ve done this before, rented a place before in the Poconos,” he said, calling it a “preplanned event where they rent a house, and plan a pledging ritual.”

Pocono Mountain Regional Police said in an affidavit that they recovered suspected marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms after executing a search warrant at the house, along with a photocopied document related to moral problems with torture.

They also recovered pledge paddles, frat sweatshirts, computers, backpacks and clothing at the home and in the vehicles driven by fraternity members. The cryptic document on torture was not explained further.

Christine told The Associated Press Thursday that criminal charges are coming, but he won’t decide on which charges to file, or against whom, until a police probe into the death is completed.

Baruch has suspended all of the fraternity’s rights and privileges at the school, and school officials have been in touch with Deng’s family in Queens as they make plans to claim his remains. Grief counselors were being made available to students.

Deng graduated this year from the Bronx High School of Science, one of the city’s best public schools, where only top students are accepted. There, he excelled in both academics and sports. Deng was a champion bowler and played on the handball team. At Baruch, he majored in finance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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