NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have launched an investigation into a fraternity’s role in the recent death of a student from Baruch College during a trip to the Poconos over the weekend.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported Wednesday, freshman Chun Hsien “Michael” Deng was pledging the Pi Delta Psi fraternity when he joined about 30 members on a trip from Manhattan to Candlewood Drive in the Sierra View community in Monroe County, N.J.
According to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, Deng was brought to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital early Sunday morning after he was injured while taking part in a “ritual” in the yard of the residence.
Deng was unresponsive and in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital, the district attorney’s office said. He had suffered major brain trauma and was placed on life support. Deng died from his injuries on Monday morning.
According to the Monroe County prosecutor, Deng suffered the injury after being tackled several times, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Deng was from Queens and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, 1010 WINS reported.
Neighbors on Candlewood Drive were alarmed to hear a fraternity ritual might have been involved.
“What a shame when anybody gets hurt or dies in something like this. People ought to know better. Certainly everybody else at the party should know better. That just should not be happening,” neighbor Jim Hrubesh told Carlin.
Some students familiar with the organization at Baruch said they never heard of any hazing involving its members, Carlin reported.
Baruch College released a statement expressing sadness over the 19-year-old’s death and stressed its zero tolerance policy regarding hazing.
“All fraternities and sororities on Baruch’s campus are required to attend the College’s orientation and training session at the beginning of the academic year, which includes anti-hazing training and literature,” the statement said.
“Michael’s death is a deeply painful reminder that no individual should ever be put into a position where his or her personal safety is in jeopardy. Our deepest sympathies go out to Michael’s family and his friends both at Baruch and at home,” the college added.
Baruch also said that based on preliminary reports, Deng was participating in “an unsanctioned fraternity pledging event.” Adding that it did not know the fraternity was rushing a pledge class.
There has been no comment from anyone affiliated with Pi Delta Psi.
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