Police: 37 frat members expected to be charged in hazing death of Baruch College student

Chun "Michael" Deng.
(Image credit: Twitter.com/NBCInvestigates)

Authorities in Pennsylvania said Tuesday that a Baruch College student who died during a hazing incident in 2013 was "singled out" and "treated harsher than other pledges" by members of the school's Pi Delta Psi chapter.

See more

On Monday, authorities announced that 37 current members and alumni of Pi Delta Psi are expected to be charged in connection with the death of 19-year-old Chun "Michael" Deng, ABC News reports. Police say that along with other pledges, Deng was blindfolded and forced to run across a frozen field carrying a backpack filled with 30 pounds of sand during a December 2013 retreat in the Poconos. He was also pushed and tackled, and at some point during the ritual, Deng fell and hit his head. Fraternity members brought an unconscious Deng back to the house they were staying at, police say, but did not call 911; instead, they allegedly looked up Deng's symptoms on the internet, changed his clothes, and put him by the fire. Two hours later, three fraternity members took him to a local hospital, where Deng later died. Police say the fraternity members then tried to cover up what happened.

Five students will face charges of third degree murder, prosecutors say. Baruch College, which is part of City University of New York, has disbanded the school's Pi Delta Psi chapter, and said in a statement it conducted an internal judicial review of the students involved in the incident, and brought disciplinary proceedings against all of those who remain enrolled, adding, "We owe it to Michael and his family to hold accountable those who were responsible for the senseless death of this promising young man." Through an attorney, the Deng family said it wants to see fraternities "change so that other parents will be spared the loss of a precious child."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.