Ten men associated with a Louisiana State University fraternity were arrested Wednesday in connection with the hazing death of an 18-year-old pledge forced to drink massive amounts of alcohol.
A police report released Wednesday said 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver was instructed by more senior members of LSU’s Phi Delta Theta to repeatedly chug 190-proof Diesel liquor while answering questions about the fraternity.
A police report released Wednesday said 18-year-old Maxwell Gruver was instructed by more senior members of LSU’s Phi Delta Theta to repeatedly chug 190-proof Diesel liquor during a Sept. It happened during a hazing ritual called Bible Study, during which pledges are quizzed on fraternity facts.
The incident caused Gruver, of Roswell, Georgia, to inhale his own vomit and other fluids into his lungs, killing him.The incident caused Gruver, a freshman from Roswell, Georgia, to inhale his own vomit and other fluids into his lungs. Gruver’s blood-alcohol level was .495, more than six times the state’s legal driving limit, when he died.
The 10 men arrested range in age from 18 to 21 and all face misdemeanor hazing charges. Another man, 19-year-old Matthew Alexander Naquin, faces an additional felony charge of negligent homicide.
Police reports provided by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office details the roughly two-hour hazing incident, which involved roughly 18-20 pledges.
The pledges came to the Phi Delta Theta house about 9:30 p.m. when older members took their cell phones, marched them upstairs in a single file-line and covered them in mustard and hot sauce. They were also taken into a dark room and told to put their noses and toes against the wall as loud music played and a strobe light flashed.
The police report described Naquin as “the most aggressive by far,” based on interviews with pledges and active fraternity members.
Three pledges told police Naquin was treating Gruver more severely than other pledges because he was regularly late for events.
Bible Study involves answering questions about the fraternity with incorrect answers earning a drink. One pledge said the pledges were told to take three-to-five-second “pulls” of Diesel alcohol.
Gruver, the report said, was continually tripped up on the Greek alphabet. Naquin forced him to drink each time he messed up, a witness said. Most pledges took three to four “pulls” of Diesel. One pledge said Gruver took at least 10-12.
Bible Study ended about 11:30 p.m. By midnight, Gruver was “passed out” on a downstairs couch. A witness found him on the couch about 9 a.m. the next morning with a weak pulse. Two people took him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Phi Delta Theta national chapter has since shut down the LSU chapter and LSU President F. King Alexander created a Task Force on Greek Life. “The ramifications of hazing can be devastating,” Alexander said in a statement. “Maxwell Gruver’s family will mourn his loss for the rest of their lives, and several other students are now facing serious consequences — all due to a series of poor decisions.”
Source: USA Today (Sean Rossman)
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