New York college student dies after hazing incident in Poconos

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 11, 2013 3:25 PM

By Joe McDonald

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Police are investigating the death of a college student who suffered brain trauma after "too many" tackles during a fraternity hazing incident over the weekend in the Poconos, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Criminal investigators probing the death of Chen "Michael" Deng, 19, a freshman at Baruch College in Manhattan, are looking to "identify who was responsible for the injuries that killed him," said E. David Christine Jr., the district attorney of Monroe County, about 75 miles west of New York City.

Deng was pledging his college chapter of Pi Delta Psi fraternity, the DA's Chief County Detective Eric Kerchner said in a statement on Wednesday.

He had traveled with a group of about 30 people to Tunkhannock Township in Monroe County for the weekend, Kerchner said.

Early Sunday morning, Deng was one of four pledges involved in a ritual in the yard of a residence on Candlewood Drive. After suffering a head injury, Deng was brought inside the home, Kerchner said.

"He got tackled too many times," Christine said in an interview.

Deng was driven by his friends to the emergency room at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, where he was unresponsive and in critical condition, Pocono Mountain Regional Police said. Diagnosed with major brain trauma, he was placed on life support but died on Monday.

Neither Baruch College, part of the City University of New York, nor Pi Delta Psi immediately responded to requests for comment.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Gunna Dickson)