CHICAGO (AP) — About half of the 22 fraternity members charged with hazing after a pledge died following a night of heavy drinking in Illinois had turned themselves in as of Tuesday night, police said.
Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were charged after an investigation into the Nov. 2 death of NIU freshman David Bogenberger, 19. He was found unresponsive at the fraternity house in DeKalb, the community about 65 miles west of Chicago that's home to Northern Illinois University. The DeKalb County Coroner's Office said toxicology results found his blood alcohol content was about five times the legal limit for driving.
Police Lt. Jason Leverton said the DeKalb Police Department has seen other hazing incidents in the past, but they typically have involved a handful of people suspected of hazing one or two others. He said this case was different because of the number of people — both pledges and fraternity members — believed to have been involved.
"This is something we haven't quite seen before," Leverton said.
The coroner ruled Bogenberger's cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia, with alcohol intoxication as a contributing cause.
The DeKalb Police Department said its investigation found about 19 pledges, including Bogenberger, attended the Nov. 1 event. Police said the event was referred to as "Parent's Night" because pledges were assigned "Greek dads and moms" — upperclassmen and women from the fraternity and associated sororities — who served as mentors. Several pledges besides Bogenberger reported getting sick and passing out, according to police.
"The event that night involved the pledges rotating between several rooms in the fraternity house, being asked a series of questions, and then being provided cups of vodka and other liquor to drink," police said in a statement. "This resulted in the pledges drinking a large quantity of alcohol in about a two-hour time period."