22 fraternity members charged in booze death
N. Illinois student’s blood alcohol was 5 times legal limit.
DEKALB, ILL. — Nearly two dozen members of a Northern Illinois University fraternity have been charged with hazing-related counts after a freshman was found dead at their house following a night of drinking.
DeKalb police and prosecutors issued arrest warrants Monday for 22 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in DeKalb. Five members are charged with felony hazing, while the other 17 members face misdemeanor hazing charges.
The warrants were filed after David Bogenberger, 19, was found unresponsive at the fraternity house early on Nov. 2. The DeKalb County Coroner’s Office said toxicology results found his blood alcohol content was about five times the legal limit for driving.
The coroner ruled Bogenberger’s cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia, with alcohol intoxication as a contributing factor.
The DeKalb Police Department said its investigation found the frater- nity hosted an unsanctioned event on Nov. 1 that wasn’t registered with the university nor the fraternity’s national chapter.
“The event that night involved the pledges rotating between several rooms in the fraternity house, being asked a series of questions, and then being provided cups of vodka and other liquor to drink,” police said in a statement. “This resulted in the pledges drinking a large quantity of alcohol in about a two-hour time period.”
Police said several other pledges reported getting sick and passing out due to excessive alcohol consumption.
The international fraternity suspended the local Eta Nu chapter and said it would cooperate with the pursuit of anyone who broke the law.
In a statement from its Memphis, Tenn., headquarters, the fraternity sought to distance itself from alcohol use and hazing that might have happened at its local chapter.
“It is these local activities which stray from the fraternity’s mission and values,” Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity Vice President Justin Buck said.