Court papers shed more light on death of college freshman
New details are coming out about what investigators call a fraternity ritual gone very wrong in the Poconos.
Investigators have seized cell phones and computers of some of the students who were at the rental home in Tunkhannock Twp., Monroe Co.
The district attorney said criminal charges are pending.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, members of the Baruch College chapter of Pi Delta Psi took 19-year-old Chun Michael Deng to the emergency room early Sunday morning, claiming he slipped in the snow and hit his head.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, however, that was a lie. After investigators discovered Deng was injured in a pledge ritual called the "glass ceiling," one fraternity member called the rental house, advising another member to "dispose of all fraternity memorabilia and items," according to court documents.
Investigators got a search warrant and seized dozens of cell phones, several computers, fraternity clothing and memorabilia to be examined.
Court documents describe the glass ceiling ritual in which Deng was blindfolded and wearing a backpack with 20 pounds of sand.
The objective was for Deng to make it across the snowy backyard to his older pledge brother "while other fraternity brothers physically prevent that from happening."
Two of the students told investigators they saw someone push Deng, but they were unable to tell investigators who it was, according to court documents.
The coroner's office said Deng died from blunt force head trauma and that drugs and alcohol were not involved. The office has not ruled whether the death is a homicide.
The national chapter of Pi Delta Psi posted a statement on its website saying the ritual was unsanctioned and strictly prohibited by the organization.
Baruch College has suspended the fraternity and said disciplinary action may follow.
The Monroe County district attorney said criminal charges are likely in the case.
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