NEW YORK - Criminal charges will be
filed in the death of a New York City college
student who was forced to run a gauntlet while carrying heavy weight on his
back during a fraternity ritual, a northeastern Pennsylvania prosecutor said
Monroe County District Attorney David
Christine said he won't decide on which charges to file, or against whom, until
a police probe into the death of 19-year-old Chun "Michael" Deng is
"Police are still going through
the connect-the-dot phases of this investigation," Christine said.
The Baruch College freshman
died Monday, one day after friends brought him to the hospital unconscious and
in critical condition with major brain trauma.
About 30 members of the Pi Delta Psi
fraternity had spent the weekend at a rented house in Tunkhannock Township, in
the Pocono Mountains about 100 miles west of New York, according to a statement
on the DA's website. Deng was one of four pledges.
At some point early Sunday, Deng ran a
gauntlet blindfolded and with a heavy weight on his back, Christine said, in a
ritual that fraternity members apparently called” Glass Ceiling”. He was
knocked unconscious and carried inside the house. This is where he remained for some
time before fraternity members drove him to an emergency room in Wilkes-Barre,
about 30 miles away, the statement on the website said.
Doctors put Deng on life support,
but he reportedly died hours later.
Police are trying to determine the lag
time between the injury and Deng's arrival at the hospital, Christine said.
Baruch College has said it had no knowledge about the event.
Other Baruch students told CBS New
York they didn’t know hazing was involved in the fraternity.
The Pi Delta Psi’s national executive
president, Andy Meng, said the incident happened during “an unsanctioned event
that was strictly prohibited by our organization,” according to the station.
Christine said it's not the first time
that Pi Delta Psi has come to the Poconos.
"They've done this before, rented
a place before in the Poconos," he said, calling it a "preplanned
event where they rent a house, and plan a pledging ritual."
On Thursday, the school reportedly said all rights and privileges of the fraternity on Baruch’s campus have been suspended.