By Brendan O’Brien
(Reuters) – An Ohio grand jury indicted eight men on Thursday on charges stemming from an alcohol-induced death of a 20-year-old student after a fraternity hazing event at Bowling Green State University near Toledo two months ago.
Sophomore student Stone Foltz was found unresponsive in his apartment after he consumed a fatal amount of alcohol on March 4 at an event hosted by the university’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter, Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson said during a news conference.
“From what we have learned, we believe and allege hazing was an integral part of this event,” Dobson said. “The result of this event was catastrophic.”
Eight men, between 18 and 23 years old, face various charges including felony involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and assault. They also face counts of hazing, failure to comply with underage alcohol laws, obstruction and evidence tampering, Dobson said.
The men have not entered a plea yet.
Hazing is a practice where prospective members often must endure brutal rituals to gain admission into social organizations such as university fraternities. Many universities in the United States have outlawed the practice on their campuses after they caused several deaths in recent years.
On March 4, Pi Kappa Alpha hosted an off-campus event to initiate new members into the fraternity. Foltz and other pledges were each given a bottle of liquor of high-alcohol content and told to drink it all, Dobson said.
After Foltz drank the bottle, fraternity members took him home to his apartment where he was later found unresponsive by his roommate, who administered CPR and called first responders. Foltz died on March 7 at a hospital, Dobson said.
Foltz, who died of fatal alcohol intoxication, had a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit, Dobson said.
The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was expelled from the university on April 9.
Eight men indicted in hazing death at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University
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