Police: Frat Brothers in Fatal Hazing Tried to Hide Fraternity Ties

Mike Deng was killed after participating in alleged frat hazing ritual.

ByABC News
December 14, 2013, 3:25 PM

Dec. 14, 2013 — -- After a pledge was severely injured in a hazing ritual, police say, the other frat members tried to hide any evidence of their ties to the fraternity before cops arrived to investigate.

Chun "Michael" Deng, 19, a freshman at Baruch College in New York City, was fatally injured during a fraternity hazing ritual last Saturday during a Pi Delta Psi weekend retreat in Tunkhannock Township, Pa.

Deng allegedly was blindfolded and had to carry a 20-pound bag of sand as he was tackled by other fraternity members. At one point he was shoved and fell over, hitting his head.

Police told ABCNews.com that after Deng lost consciousness, other fraternity members brought him into the house, but they never called 911 for help. Instead they put him near the fire, changed his clothes and searched the Internet for information about his symptoms.

Sorority Member Calls Hazing 'Worth It'

After approximately an hour, Deng was taken by a car to a local hospital along with three other people at around 6:30 a.m. Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis told ABCNews.com that there was an estimated two-hour delay between the time Deng was injured and when he got medical attention.

"I am not a doctor, all I am saying is quicker medical intervention would have been beneficial," Lewis said.

Deng died at a local hospital on Monday. The Luzerne County Coroner's office said Friday he died from head injuries due to blunt force trauma.

Lewis also said one of the people who brought Deng to the hospital called back to the house and told the other fraternity members to hide any items or memorabilia that would link them to their fraternity.

"I'm just amazed, they had something happen to someone who is going to join their brotherhood ... it wasn't like a care in a world about him," Lewis said. "It was 'Oh no the fraternity.'"

The fraternity brothers they interviewed initially said they had merely been "horsing" around in the snow when Deng slipped and fell, Lewis said. It was only after hours of interrogation that police said they found out that the fraternity members had allegedly been carrying out a hazing ritual called a "glass ceiling," according to The Associated Press.

Lewis said that a few of the approximately 20 fraternity members on the weekend retreat also left the house before police arrived but after Deng was injured. He said police were looking to question those individuals.

Illinois Frat Members Charged in Hazing Death

The police also found suspected marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms in addition to alcohol, although Lewis said the drugs and alcohol present were likely not the main contributing factors in Deng's fatal injury.

Andy Meng, the national executive president of the Pi Delta Psi chapter, said they would investigate the incident and work with the appropriate entities.

"Our early understanding is that this incident occurred at an unsanctioned event that was strictly prohibited by our organization," Meng said. "As a result of this incident, we are immediately suspending all new member education nationwide until further notice."

Christina Latouf, a spokeswoman for Baruch College, said the fraternity had been suspended, told the AP that the college was not notified of the initiation activities until they were told about Deng's condition.

Criminal charges related to Deng's death have not yet been filed and police are still investigating.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.