Baruch College freshman Chun Hsien "Michael" Deng died of injuries sustained during a fraternity ritual at a home in the Poconos, authorities say.
The 19-year-old Baruch College freshman who died of his injuries from a fraternity ritual during a trip to the Poconos had no alcohol or drugs in his system, according to a police affidavit.
Chun Hsien "Michael" Deng was brought to a hospital in the Poconos by several fraternity brothers early Sunday after he was hurt during the hazing ritual in which pledges were blindfolded, weighted down with bags of sand and knocked over repeatedly while trying to walk.
Deng had scratches on his left hip and buttocks area, a cut on his left wrist and bruising on his knees, the affidavit said. He also had major head trauma, and was placed on life support. He died the next day.
On Friday, the coroner ruled he died of head injuries due to blunt force trauma.
According to the affidavit, three students who first brought Deng to the hospital initially told police that the group was wrestling in the snow when Deng fell backwards and hit his head. The group said they brought him inside and laid him by the fire, but that he did not wake up.
In later interviews, the story emerged that Deng was actually injured during a Pi Delta Psi fraternity ritual.
One of the students told police that the pledges, while blindfolded and wearing weighted backpacks, were instructed to try to reach their pledge educator, as the other fraternity brothers tried to stop them.
The student said Deng was pushed during this process. It's unclear how he hit his head.
The Monroe County district attorney said Thursday that charges would likely be filed in the death, but had not completed the investigation.
Deng, who was from Queens, attended the elite Bronx High School of Science. A former classmate said he was "well-liked and smart."
The quote beneath his yearbook photo said: "If people are doubting how far you'll go, go so far that you can't hear them anymore."
The national president of the fraternity, Andy Meng, said the trip was "an unsanctioned event that was strictly prohibited by our organization," and the college has also said it was unaware of the trip.
Baruch said late Friday that it was still reviewing what happened, but was suspending the fraternity pending that review. Disciplinary action against the students is also being determined.