Frat's Motel Pledge Event Turns Berserk

Nine Colo. students accused of a drunken motel ransacking in latest frat blight.

ByABC News
February 20, 2008, 10:08 AM

Feb. 20, 2008— -- What began as a dream pledge party turned into a nightmare for fraternity pledges and for the University of Colorado at Boulder when nine prospective brothers were arrested this weekend after police said they drunkenly ransacked a pair of motel rooms.

The Estes Park Police responded to an anonymous report of a disruption inside a local Super 8 motel room in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Inside the motel rooms, they said they found nine male students from the University of Colorado, according to a press release by Estes Park Police, and more than a $1,000 worth of damage in the two adjoining rooms.

"Several of the freshman fraternity brothers from Delta Chi told officers that they were dropped off ... by older fraternity members and were told to get to know each other," the release stated. To help that happen, they were provided with a keg of beer and several bottles of liquor, police said.

Delta Chi Fraternity Inc., the fraternity's national headquarters based in Iowa City, Iowa, has suspended the Boulder chapter, executive director Ray Galbreth told ABC News. "They are under suspension pending our investigation," Galbreth said.

Police said the fraternity brothers-in-training responded to the get-to-know assignment with reckless zeal, leaving a scene that included one large hole in a wall and several smaller holes scattered around the rooms. Ceiling fans and heating units had been ripped from walls; shower curtains and rods had been torn down; one mirror was covered with wads of spit and another was shattered, according to police, who added that blood and vomit were splattered all over the place.

In all, nine pledges were taken into custody and booked at the Larimer County Detention Center. They are Nicholas Mortimer, William Martin, Andrew Sapiro, Britt Cherster, Kyle Jungels, Anthony Cronin, Matthew Bowen, Lukas Feyh and Kyle Maltz. The group includes freshmen, sophomores and one senior, according to the University of Colorado community directory.

One of the students, William Martin, a freshman political science major, responded to an e-mail sent by ABC News to all nine of the alleged offenders asking if there was another side of the story.

"nobody (sic) ever looks at the good things a person does with their life," Martin wrote, describing a trip to Mexico during which he built houses and other volunteer work feeding the hungry.

"But as soon as we make a mistake everyone is incredibly quick to judge us. yes (sic) we made a huge mistake, and I feel absolutely horrible about the situation. but (sic) the only way to live a valid life is to learn from our mistakes so as not to repeat them ever again."

Martin went on to question the validity of the national coverage the story has received.

"everyone (sic) in colorado (sic) already despises us, is it your attempt to have the entire nation despise us?" he wrote. "we are intelligent, bright, and caring people who made an extremely stupid, unintelligent, and disrespectful mistake that doesn't reflect who we are, but that doesn't seem to matter to anybody."

Bronson Hilliard, a spokesman for the University of Colorado, said as the students make their way through the county judicial system they could face unspecified punishment from the university. The campus burden of proof in those cases can be less than in the courts, Hilliard told ABC News.