Hazing charges filed in NIU fraternity death - FOX 32 News Chicago

16 surrender to hazing charges in NIU fraternity death

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and 17 fraternity leaders are facing charges for violating the Student Code of Conduct after the death of freshman David Bogenberger last month.

SEE: Exclusive Investigation: NIU student died after fraternity hazing event

David Bogenberger's blood alcohol level was .35--five times the legal limit--when his body was discovered inside the frat house on the NIU campus in DeKalb on November 2.

The 19-year-old freshman was pledging the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in early November, when he went to a party called "Moms Night" or "Parents Night," where pledges were told to find their sponsors hiding in rooms throughout the frat house.

SEE: Fraternity suspends NIU chapter, pledge`s family wants hazing to end

"Even if you're sick and know you can't drink anymore you kind of feel peer-pressured into it," says a Northern Illinois University student who asked us to protect his identity. "It's being forced to do things you don't want to do."

"Basically, you have to run a gauntlet of liquor, and doing whatever the girls tell you until you find the girl that's yours," the student explained. "It basically involves drinking two to five shots of liquor [per girl]."

On Monday, DeKalb police revealed that Bogenberger drank so much liquor at the party he went into cardiac arrest.

Police have charged five fraternity leaders with felony hazing: Alexander M. Jandick, 21; James P. Harvey, 21; Omar Salameh, 21; Patrick W. Merrill, 19; Steven A. Libert, 20.

"There was a pre-planned event that included the knowing and intentional provision of alcohol to people they knew were minors, and not only that, but in a short time period there was an expectation to drink a large amount of alcohol," explains Lt. Leverton with the DeKalb Police Department.

17 other fraternity and sorority members who were at the party have also been charged with misdemeanor hazing. Those include: Michael J. Phillip, Jr., 20; Thomas F. Costello, 20; David R. Sailor, 20; Alexander D. Renn, 19; Michael A. Marroquin, 20; Estevan A. Diaz, 22; Hazel A. Vergaralope, 21; Michael D. Pfest, 23; Andres Jiminez, Jr., 19; Isaiah Lott, 19; Andrew W. Bouleanu, 21; Nicholas A. Sutor, 19; Nelson A. Irizarry, 19; Johnny P. Wallace, 20; Daniel S. Post, 20; Nsenzi Salasini, 20; and Russ Coyner, 21.

DeKalb Police Lt. Jason Leverton said 16 of those charged have now turned themselves in, posted bond and been released. Those include Chapter President Alexander Jandick who turned himself into the Naperville police and posted the $1,500 bond. Omar Salameh and Steven Libert, who have been charged with felonies were also booked.

The charges come during an otherwise happy time at NIU, with the school's football team headed to play in the BCS Orange Bowl.

Chicago attorney Peter Coladarci represents Bogenbergers parents, who recently moved from Palatine to Florida. Coladarci says David, who was a triplet, felt compelled to drink because he wanted to join the fraternity.

"He wanted to be liked. He wanted to be accepted. The terms that the fraternity placed on him were that he had to go through this," says Coladarci.

David Bogenberger's parents released a statement about the charges.

It says, in part: "We have no desire for revenge. Rather, we hope that some significant change will come from David's death. Alcohol poisoning claims far too many young, healthy lives. We must realize that young people can and do die in hazing rituals. Alcohol-involved hazing and initiation must end."

When FOX 32 News began our investigation into David's death last month, not a single member of the Pikes fraternity was willing to talk.

The students are due in court to be arraigned in early January.

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