According to authorities, five fraternity brothers face third-degree murder charges in the wrongful death of a New York City college student. The five Pi Delta Psi members also face charges ranging from hindering apprehension to providing false information to law enforcement in connection with the 2013 hazing death of Baruch College freshman Chun “Michael” Deng, Pennsylvania police said. Additionally, charges are pending against 32 other frat members, as well as the Pi Delta Psi fraternity, including assault, hazing, and criminal conspiracy, officials stated.
Deng, 19, died two years ago from “complications of traumatic brain injury” during a hazing incident in the Poconos, according to court documents. He was fatally injured while participating in a fraternity ritual known as the “glass ceiling” in which a pledge navigates toward someone who calls his name while blindfolded and wearing a backpacking containing a 30-pound bag of sand. Other fraternity brothers then physically prevent that from happening by repeatedly tackling and hitting the pledge.
According to police, Deng fell backward, struck his head, and was unconscious and unresponsive immediately following his fall. “A minimum of at least two hours went by before he actually received any type of medical care,” Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis said after the incident. Forensic analysis found that the delay in treatment “significantly contributed to the death of Mr. Deng” and resulted in neurogenic shock, police said. Upon his arrival at the hospital, Deng remained unresponsive and was in critical condition. According to the district attorney’s office, physicians determined he had suffered major brain trauma.
“Michael was a wonderful, beloved young man, and, in his honor, the family will also continue pursuing its wrongful death case against the fraternity to cause it and other fraternities to change so that other parents will be spared the loss of a precious child,” his family said in a statement. If somebody you love has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.