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Baruch College Hazing Death: Police Say Brothers Tried To Hide Fraternity Ties

12/15/2013 06:38 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Police say members of Pi Delta Psi at Baruch College tried to cover up the fraternity hazing that caused the death of 19-year-old Chun "Michael" Deng.

Deng, 19, died as a result of injuries sustained during a hazing activity called "The Gauntlet" and the "Glass Ceiling" by various news outlets. Pledges like Deng were blindfolded and forced to carry backpack filled with 20 pounds of sand, the Pocono Record reports. Brothers then took turns trying to knock the pledges down. Deng was knocked to the ground and injured his head, police said, which ultimately led to the brain trauma that killed him.

The incident took place at a residence at the Poconos in Pennsylvania on Dec. 8. Deng was pronounced dead on Dec. 9. Baruch is part of the City University of New York system.

Police said the fraternity brothers did not call 911, and took more than 90 minutes to seek medical attention for Deng. In the mean time, before deciding to drive him to the hospital, the brothers searched for information online about Deng's symptoms.

The young men who brought Deng to the hospital at first said they were wrestling when he hit his head, according to WNBC.

Students also tried to cover up their fraternity ties. NBC News reports Deng's big pledge brother, Charles Lai, called the house in the Poconos from the hospital and told them to hide anything fraternity-related.

Deng had no alcohol or drugs in his system, but the New York Daily News reports that police did find magic mushrooms and marijuana in a vehicle belonging to the fraternity brothers.

Baruch said this was an unsanctioned fraternity event. The national Pi Delta Psi organization said the hazing ritual was banned.

"Our early understanding is that this incident occurred at an unsanctioned event that was strictly prohibited by our organization," Andy Meng, the national executive president of the Pi Delta Psi chapter, said in a statement. "As a result of this incident, we are immediately suspending all new member education nationwide until further notice."

Prosecutors expect to file charges in Deng's death once an investigation is complete. The college is also investigating the hazing death and has suspended the fraternity.

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