Another Frat Hazing Death, Another Wave of Arrests

Trevor Duffy, 19, died during initiation at Zeta Beta Tau
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2015 8:36 AM CDT
An apartment complex is seen on SUNY Albany's Uptown Campus.   (Wikimedia/UAlbany)

(Newser) – Five members of an "unsanctioned" fraternity at the State University of New York at Albany have been charged in the hazing death of a pledge. Olaf Jablonski, Yuval Sucov, Jonathan Maldonado, Steven Vila, and Keith Rosengarten, 20 to 22, are charged with first-degree hazing after 19-year-old Trevor Duffy died after an initiation ritual for Zeta Beta Tau on Nov. 15, 2014, reports NBC News. Police say Duffy and other pledges were forced to drink 60 ounces of vodka. A student says she found Duffy passed out in a shower with Rosengarten—his "big brother" who was monitoring his intake, students allege—standing over him around 1am. An hour later, Duffy's lips were bluish purple, she says, per the Albany Times Union. She adds she yelled for someone to call 911, but several men debated whether to do so. They eventually moved Duffy outside to keep police from entering the residence.

Duffy was rushed to a hospital, where his blood alcohol level registered .583—more than seven times the legal driving limit, reports the Wall Street Journal. He died Nov. 17. One of four other students taken to the hospital says he was told his blood tested positive for various drugs, though he didn't knowingly take any. A SUNY Albany rep says 24 people were sanctioned after a university investigation, and some were expelled, including Rosengarten, who petitioned the state Supreme Court to reverse the ruling. Court documents show frat members had assured Duffy that no one ever died in hazing rituals just hours before. The university says ZBT lost recognition as a campus frat in 1997 but kept an underground presence. A ZBT chapter that reformed on campus in 2011 was separate from the one linked to Duffy's death. (Five frat members face 20 years over this hazing death.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |