Pennsylvania

Frat brothers' hearing: Video shows Penn State pledge in agony

BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Surveillance video played at a hearing for 18 Penn State fraternity members accused in the death of a pledge shows the sophomore in agony in the hours after falling down basement steps.

Selections from the grainy footage start with 19-year-old Tim Piazza joining other pledges going station to station in a drinking "gauntlet" on Feb. 2, and proceed to show him staggering around the frat house, visibly drunk.

After the fall, he's seen repeatedly slamming his head into walls and floors, later clutching his head and midsection in apparent agony.

Some frat brothers try to restrain him at times throughout the evening and put a backpack on him to keep him upright so he wouldn't choke on his own vomit.

Before the video was played, State College Police Detective David Scicchitano said Piazza "looked dead, he looked like a corpse" in footage showing frat brothers carrying him upstairs the morning after a pledge event.

The hearing Monday is to determine if enough evidence exists for the case to go to trial.

The defendants face various charges, with some accused of involuntary manslaughter and felony aggravated assault.

Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey, suffered head trauma and had a high level of alcohol in his system.


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