Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

PSU frat member told 911: 'We have a friend who's unconscious'

PSU frat member told 911: 'We have a friend who's unconscious'

Davis, a former Beta Theta Pi fraternity member went on ABC's Good Morning America to talk about what he witnessed the night Timothy Piazza fell down the stairs during a frat party.

The cause of death was traumatic brain injury that resulted from several falls, including a fall down a set of basement stairs, according to a 65-page statement issued by Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller after a county grand jury investigation.

The lawyer for Joseph Ems Jr., 20, who faces only a reckless endangerment charge, called it a tragic and sad case and expressed condolences the family of victim Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old engineering student from Lebanon, New Jersey. Authorities say Piazza fell face-first down a basement stairway on February 2, some of the young men carried him back up the stairs, and he fell and hit his head at least two more times before he fell down the stairs again.

Numerous activities that led up to Piazza's death are explicitly forbidden in the fraternity's "pledge manual", a guide for new members.

Citing the testimony of one of the 14-member pledge class that included Piazza, the grand jury says the activities on the night of February 2 centered on "the gantlet", in which pledges formed a line and were told to drink from a bottle of vodka and pass it down until it was empty.

Kordel repeatedly told the brothers that they should call 911, according to his testimony, but he was allegedly ignored, called "crazy", and shoved into a wall. All 18 are charged with a range of counts including hazing, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence, and alcohol-related offenses. I said, 'No, I really do know what I'm talking about. Consider how the Men of Principle behaved after they learned of Piazza's death. Eight of the brothers have also been charged with involuntary manslaughter and the fraternity itself has been charged. He was discovered in the basement at about 10 a.m. Minutes later a brother, seemingly frustrated, strikes Piazza in the abdomen with his open right hand.3:53 a.m.: Piazza rolls to floor with the backpack still attached. Erickson, Pecci and another brother then carry Piazza upstairs and place him on a couch in the great hall.

Security footage has revealed that Penn State sophomore Tim Piazza spent his final hours trying to drag his inoxicated, bruised and bloodied body around.

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"We're devastated by the loss of our son ...", Piazza's father, Jim, said at a news conference last week where authorities announced the charges. Of course, tragedies happen to young men and women who have nothing to do with the Greek system, as they venture out into the world on their own; but there is no denying the common denominator in so many of these incidents is often heavy drinking, hazing, and a fraternity or sorority.

"We had found at least on just the cell phones that they had been doing it for semester after semester after semester", Miller said. But Piazza fell down three steps and the fraternity brother stepped over him and left him there. Mr Piazza was taken to hospital and died the next day.

During the night, Piazza tried to get up off the couch, falling backwards onto a wooden floor. Someone called 911 some 40 minutes later.

Following Piazza's death, Beta Theta Pi was banned from campus for five years with the possibility of the ban becoming permanent pending the results of an investigation.

Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement Friday that Beta Theta Pi was situated on private property and claimed to be a model fraternity, but it was "no model".

Time and again, members of Penn State's 46 fraternity chapters have demonstrated that they're kids.

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