Carlo Allegri / Reuters file
Pi Delta Psi has severed ties with its Baruch College (above) colony after the hazing death of Michael Deng.
The fraternity Pi Delta Psi has severed ties with its Baruch College branch a week after a college freshman was killed during a hazing ritual that required pledges to run a gauntlet blindfolded and carrying 20-pound bags of sand.
The national office of the Asian-American cultural frat says the gathering in the Poconos where Michael Deng, 19, was fatally injured was unsanctioned and the initiation challenge was banned.
"Baruch Colony has violated the rules and values of our organization, including our strict no-hazing policy," national executive chairman Andy Meng said in a statement.
About 30 Baruch students and alumni traveled from the Manhattan campus to a rented house in the Pennsylvania mountains two weekends ago.
Early that Sunday, police say, the pledges were told they had to get from a starting point to their fraternity big brother in the snowy yard, with their eyes covered and lugging heavy packs while others tried to knock them off course.
Deng, a finance major who graduated from New York City's elite Bronx High School of Science, was repeatedly tackled until he hit his head and was knocked unconscious, authorities say.
His fraternity brothers did not immediately call 911 but instead brought him inside by the fire, changed his clothes, and Googled his symptoms, according to court papers.
An hour or more passed before three of them drove Deng to a hospital, where doctors found he was already brain dead and put him on life support, the papers say. He died the next day.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief said the fraternity members were "evasive" when first questioned. They claimed Deng fell backward and banged his head while wrestling, and one of the students called another and told him to get rid of all fraternity memorabilia, police said in a search warrant affidavit.
Some fraternity members left the house before police could talk to them, and they have been urged to come forward. Police seized marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms from the scene but say drugs and alcohol were not found in Deng's system.
No one has been arrested but police and prosecutors say charges are highly likely. The national Pi Delta Psi is cooperating with the investigation, its statement said.
First published December 16 2013, 6:56 AM