- (Photo: Screengrab/CBS)
A Baruch College freshman died after suffering brain damage during a ritual pledging activity for the Pi Delta Psi fraternity. An investigation is underway and the District Attorney has vowed to bring charges against those affiliated with Chun Hsien "Michael" Deng's death.
Deng and approximately 30 members of the fraternity traveled to the Poconos for a retreat. They began playing a game known as "Glass Ceiling," in which a pledge is blindfolded and a heavy item is placed on his back. He must find his way to the person calling his name, and during his trek, other members of the fraternity attempt to tackle him.
Somehow during the game, Deng suffered a head injury and was brought to the house where the fraternity members were staying. No one called 911 immediately, even though he was unconscious and unresponsive at the time. According to police reports, his clothing was changed and all fraternity memorabilia was thrown away.
Nearly two hours later, a fraternity member called authorities and Deng was rushed to the hospital, where he was put on life support. Unfortunately, he passed away just a few hours later. Doctors said he was brain dead when he arrived at the hospital.
The college president said he "had no knowledge of this event or that the fraternity was rushing a pledge class," the New York Times reported. "Pi Delta Psi did not request permission nor were they approved by Baruch on this matter. Michael's death is a deeply painful reminder that no individual should ever be put into a position where his or her personal safety is in jeopardy."
The fraternity has stopped all pledging activities, and their rights have been terminated for the time being.
Monroe County District Attorney David Christine told CBS News that there would definitely be charges filed, though he does not know yet what charges. Christine will wait until the investigation into his death is concluded before filing any charges.