37 Fraternity Members Charged In Hazing Death

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In December 2013, during a fraternity retreat to the Pocono Mountains, members of Pi Delta Psi at Baruch College in New York allegedly murdered a fellow fraternity member during an outdoor hazing event, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Now, nearly two years later, five fraternity brothers are facing charges for the murder of Chun Hsein Deng. Thirty others will face charges of assault, conspiracy, and hindering apprehension. It has taken two years to press charges because of the dozens of students involved in Deng’s death, according to David Christine, district attorney in Monroe County, N.Y.

Deng, who went by Michael, died at the age of 19 during a game called “glass ceiling,” according to the press release. Deng was blindfolded in a frozen field and forced to carry a weighted backpack filled with sand while his fraternity brothers repeatedly tackled him.

Deng was knocked to the ground and left unconscious. According to a Pocono Mountain Regional Police press conference held Tuesday morning, Deng’s fraternity brothers left him in the snow while some left the retreat house and others contacted Andy Meng, a Pi Delta Psi representative. Meng advised members to hide fraternity merchandise.

Some hours later, Deng failed to wake up and was brought to the hospital in a private vehicle. An NBC report states his fellow fraternity members told officials he passed out in the snow during a wrestling match.

Deng, suffering from severe head trauma, was immediately put on life support and died the following day.

Reports from CNN and WFNZ attributed his death to delayed treatment. Deng received no medical attention until he made it to the hospital.

According to the press release, Deng suffered “multiple traumatic injuries” including “three clear impacts to the head.” Delays in medical attention resulted in traumatic asphyxia.

Meng, the representative who allegedly talked to students after Deng was knocked unconscious, spoke with NBC after Deng’s death.

Meng told NBC the retreat was “an unsanctioned event that was strictly prohibited by our organization.”

A week after Deng’s death, Meng released a statement condemning the Baruch College chapter and revoked its affiliation with the national chapter.

The Baruch chapter “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.”

Meng is now facing charges.

Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan, Raymond Lam, Daniel Li and Sheldon Wong are facing charges for murder. The fraternity will also face charges.

Baruch College is known for its academic history. None of the fraternities or sororities own houses on campus. Pi Delta Psi met in office spaces shared with two other clubs, according to The New York Times.

Deng’s family is now pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against Pi Delta Psi.

“Too many families have been devastated as a result of fraternity hazing, with at least one student dying every year from hazing since 1970,” the Dengs said in a statement.

Deng was one of four new pledges at the Pocono retreat. He was a freshman from Queens.

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