Pi Delta Psi pledge died of head injuries in fraternity ritual, coroner says

Story highlights

  • Chun "Michael" Deng died of "closed head injuries," coroner's office says
  • Pi Delta Psi "revokes" affiliation with Baruch College chapter after student death
  • Deng fell and struck his head during "glass ceiling" ritual, affidavit says
  • Pi Delta Psi members tell authorities that Deng was pushed, document says
A New York college student died of head injuries last week during a fraternity ritual held in Pennsylvania, the local coroner's office said Monday.
Baruch College freshman Chun "Michael" Deng, 19, died of "closed head injuries ... due to blunt force head trauma," Mary Wallace of the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, coroner's office said.
Also Monday, Pi Delta Psi Fraternity Inc. said it has "revoked and terminated all affiliation with the Baruch Colony, effective immediately."
"Baruch Colony has violated the values and rules of our organization," the fraternity said. "We will also revoke the individual membership of any member found involved in this incident."
Charges are expected in Deng's death, which occurred after a fraternity pledge event at a residence in the Pocono Mountains, Monroe County District Attorney E. David Christine said last week.
The level of charges and who specifically will be charged is not clear, Christine said.
More than 30 members of Pi Delta Psi were conducting a ritual outdoors for new pledges called the "glass ceiling," according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by CNN.
The objective was for Deng, who was blindfolded and wearing a backpack filled with a 20-pound bag of sand, to navigate toward someone who was calling for him "while other fraternity brothers physically prevent that from happening," witnesses said, according to the affidavit.
Deng fell backward, struck his head and was unconscious and unresponsive immediately after he fell, the document states.
Other members of the fraternity told authorities they saw Deng get pushed but did not see who did it because it was dark in the yard of the residence where the ritual took place, the affidavit said. Later, three fraternity members drove Deng to a Pennsylvania hospital early on the morning of December 8, authorities said.
"The transport was done in a private vehicle ... which means this poor victim wasn't receiving any medical attention until the time he actually made it to the hospital," Christine said.
He was unresponsive and in critical condition upon his arrival at the hospital. Physicians determined Deng had suffered major brain trauma, and he was put on life support, according to the district attorney's office.
In a statement, Baruch College said last week that Deng died while participating in an unsanctioned fraternity pledging event.
Baruch College has a "zero tolerance policy regarding hazing," according to the statement.