Frat members appear in court

Cheryl Sanders
May 11, 2017

Penn State President Eric Barron in a statement Friday said, "The alleged details in the grand jury presentment, which suggest the inhumane treatment of a student forced through hazing to consume unsafe amounts of alcohol and endure hours of suffering, are sickening and hard to understand".

The more details that emerge about the February death of 19-year-old Penn State sophomore and fraternity pledge Timothy Piazza, the clearer it becomes that there is something terribly wrong with Greek life as it exists on many college campuses.

"These brothers gathered around Timothy where some of them described that he looked dead and they waited over 40 minutes before they called for help while some of them Googled things like, 'What to do with a head injury?'" Miller said.

The next time Piazza is visible on the footage, the grand jury said, four young men had dragged his limp body back up a flight of stairs and placed him on a couch.

Text messages sent between the fraternity brothers revealed they instructed pledges to clean the basement and get rid of any evidence of alcohol from the night before.

Investigators say Casey searched topics like how to delete a group on Facebook after the death.


The university on March 30 issued a permanent ban on Beta Theta Pi, which was once regarded as a model fraternity, accusing it of a "persistent pattern" of excessive drinking, drug use and hazing.

The fraternity pledge manual said no alcohol could be consumed at the frat house, especially by pledges or minors, and that hazing was prohibited, according to the grand jury report.

Finally, at 10:48 a.m., 11 hours after Piazza's first fall, fraternity member Ryan McCann called an ambulance.

Fraternity members turned over security camera footage to police but later asked the court to return it.

This week, the Beta Theta Pi corporation was charged with involuntary manslaughter, as well as eight other former members of the fraternity.

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


Gary Dibileo, 21, of Scranton, Pennsylvania: Aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, simple assault, reckless endangerment, hazing, alcohol-related charges.

According to reports, he was highly intoxicated, fell down a set of stairs, suffering severe injuries. "We need to call 911". "This is a huge challenge because we don't own the houses, we don't own the property, we aren't the" organization governing fraternities, said Penn State president Eric Barron. Piazza died the next day from a ruptured spleen and head injuries.

Piazza apparently fell down the steps again early the next morning but was not discovered until about 10 a.m. Davis said they prevented him from calling for help. "We are going to miss him terribly", Jim Piazza said.

"As in the Sandusky matter, it is a national moment for every university to take stock of what's going on in this culture of debauchery that occurs in the fraternities in American universities", he said. The fraternity's worldwide chapter leaders issued a statement stating that the Penn State chapter was suspended after the death.

Beta Theta Pi International Fraternity said in a statement that since Piazza's death "the International Fraternity has cooperated fully with local officials in their investigation".

The members of Beta Theta Pi face a range of charges.


You can not call yourselves leaders if your response to tragedy and transgression is to deny it, hide the evidence of it and then treat it as bad publicity to be neutralized by high-minded hooey about leadership, service and academic achievement.

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