A Poconos hazing death is now under investigation. Chen “Michael” Deng, age 19, was pronounced dead at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital on Monday. Authorities said the teen died after suffering injuries incurred during a fraternity hazing.
Last weekend, a group Baruch College students traveled from New York to the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania. A majority of the students were members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity, and Deng was reportedly pledging to join the fraternity.
A group of approximately 30 students spent the weekend at a home on Candlewood Drive in Tunkhannock Township. On Sunday morning, Deng and three other pledges were reportedly participating in a hazing ritual outside the home.
As reported by Reuters, part of the ritual involved Deng and the other pledges being tackled by members of the fraternity. Monroe County district attorney E. David Christine Jr., said Deng “got tackled too many times” during the Poconos hazing. When he displayed signs of trauma, the students stopped the hazing and took him inside.
Deng eventually became unresponsive, prompting the students to transport him to a local hospital. Authorities said the teen was diagnosed with major brain trauma and placed on life support. He died the following day.
Authorities are attempting to determine which students are responsible for the fatal injury. They are also questioning the delay in transporting Deng to the hospital. PIX 11 News reports that the teen was unresponsive “for some time” before the students took him to the emergency room.
In an official statement, Baruch College denied any prior knowledge of the “unsanctioned fraternity pledging event.” The college also reiterated their zero tolerance policy on fraternity hazing:
“Michael’s death is a deeply painful reminder that no individual should ever be put in a position where his or her personal safety is in jeopardy.”
College officials said they are conducting their own investigation into the students involved and the fraternity.
Although authorities have identified suspects, no arrests have been made. The investigation into the Poconos hazing death is ongoing.
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