A student who smeared peanut butter on an unconscious freshman's face calls it "a joke." The freshman's parents call it hazing that could have turned deadly because the 19-year-old has a severe allergy to peanuts. The pictures Teresa Seely posted on Facebook Tuesday show her son Andrew with eyes swollen shut after the incident at Alpha Chi Rho, an off-campus fraternity at Central Michigan University. "He could have died," his father tells CBS News. The alleged prankster tells WDIV in Detroit that he didn't know Andrew had an allergy and says the stunt was "just college students being kids." Seely's father isn't buying it, saying his son had made a point to tell the frat of his allergy and even wore a medical bracelet. A professor took the teen to a campus health clinic, where he recovered, say his parents.
The incident occurred in October, but Seely's parents learned of it only this week and reported it immediately to police and campus authorities. “Obviously this is very concerning and we take these things very seriously,” says a school official. The frat isn't recognized by the school, having been given the boot in 2011 because of hazing. The national fraternity also says the CMU chapter is operating unofficially. Members offered to pay for Seely's medical bills and said they never meant for him to get hurt. On Thursday, they turned away Fox32News and said they'd contacted an attorney. Seely, meanwhile, has since transferred to another college. “We thought we were sending our child off to school in a safe environment," Teresa Seely tells the Detroit Free Press, "and obviously that wasn’t the case."