Baruch College Student's Frat Hazing Death Ruled a Homicide, Officials Say
MANHATTAN — The death of the Baruch College student who was tackled repeatedly by fraternity brothers during a hazing ritual in the Poconos late last year has been ruled a homicide, officials said.
Nineteen-year-old Chun Hsien "Michael" Deng died of a traumatic head injury after a Pi Delta Psi pledging ritual outside a rented Pennsylvania house early in the morning of Dec. 8, the Luzerne County Coroner said Friday.
Deng was blindfolded and forced to lug a backpack full of sand while members of the fraternity jumped on him, according to reports. The brutal game only came to an end when Deng was knocked unconscious, reports said.
Members of the fraternity took Deng to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center an hour later, but not before changing his clothes, searching his symptoms online and looking up nearby hospitals, reports said. They never called 911, according to reports.
No one had been charged in Deng's death as of Friday afternoon. The Monroe County District Attorney’s office previously said it was investigating bringing charges in the case.
Deng, a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science who lived in Oakland Gardens in Queens, was one of four pledges who accompanied about 30 fraternity members at the house in the Poconos on the weekend he died.
Baruch College subsequently said the trip was not sanctioned and banned the Pi Delta Psi fraternity from campus.
"Baruch College supports the ongoing efforts of Monroe County law enforcement to hold responsible those involved in the tragic death of Baruch student Michael Deng; a deeply painful reminder that no individual should ever be placed in a position where his or her personal safety is in jeopardy," a spokeswoman for the college said in a statement Friday.
"Along with its own internal review, which is ongoing, Baruch is continuing to cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities as this matter is investigated."
The Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department and the Monroe County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.