New York City college student dies after fraternity ‘ritual,’ authorities say

Posted at 7:31 PM, Dec 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-11 21:31:44-05
By Rande Iaboni


NEW YORK (CNN) — Police are investigating the death of a New York City college student after he was injured during a fraternity ritual on a trip to the Poconos, authorities said Wednesday.

Chun “Michael” Deng, 19, a freshman at Baruch College, was brought to a Pennsylvania hospital by his friends early Sunday morning, authorities said.

Deng was unresponsive and in critical condition upon arrival at the hospital. Physicians determined Deng had suffered major brain trauma and was placed on life support, according to a news release from the Monroe County, Pennsylvania, District Attorney’s Office. The prosecutor’s office identified the victim as Chen; the college gave his first name as Chun.

Authorities learned that more than 30 members of the fraternity Pi Delta Psi had traveled to the Pocono Mountains, roughly 90 miles away from New York City, for the weekend.

In the early morning hours, Deng, one of four pledges to the fraternity, was injured “while partaking in a ritual” in the yard of the residence where they were staying, according to the release.

Authorities did not say what the fraternity ritual entailed.

In a statement Wednesday, Baruch College said preliminary reports indicate Deng died while participating in an unsanctioned fraternity pledging event that the college had no knowledge of.

Baruch College has a “zero tolerance policy regarding hazing,” according to the statement.

Deng’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,” the statement said.

Along with its own internal review, Baruch is cooperating with law enforcement, the statement said.

After Deng suffered the traumatic head injury, he was brought inside the residence and was unresponsive. Members of the fraternity later drove him to the emergency room, according to the district attorney’s office.

Deng died of his injuries Monday morning. An investigation is continuing, according to authorities.

CNN’s calls to Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, Inc., for comment were not immediately returned.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.