After ‘worst hazing in US history’ student loses speech, sight and use of legs

After ‘worst hazing in US history’ student loses speech, sight and use of legs

Daniel Santulli, a 19-year-old American student, is still suffering from serious after-effects months after a party that went wrong at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at the University of Missouri. Since October 19, when the event took place, the student has been unable to speak and walk. He also lost his sight. “Doctors told us he will need lifelong care,” his mom told ABC News. His parents intend not to let this incident go unpunished. They want at all costs “that this does not happen again”.

A dramatic evening

At an alleged hazing party (no one has yet been convicted of “hazing”), members of the fraternity allegedly pushed Daniel down a whole bottle of vodka. Surveillance footage also shows a youth shoving a tube down Daniel’s throat and slurping him with beer. Prior to this, the student was reportedly forced inside a trash can filled with broken glass and had to repeatedly clean the fraternity members’ room at all hours of the day and night. According to his parents, their son, yet tired by all the hardships, never gave up “for fear of being seen as a coward”.

As the footage shows, Daniel lost consciousness two hours after ingesting all that alcohol. Members of the fraternity eventually took him to the hospital when they noticed he was unresponsive. However, they never called the emergency services, even though the young man had “blue lips”. The doctor who treated the student said he had 0.486g of alcohol in his blood, 6 times the legal dose allowed.

“When I saw him in the hospital, it was just a bunch of tubes,” said a family member of the student who said he was “marked by this image”. Given the seriousness of his condition, the young man remained hospitalized for many months, after being plunged into a coma.

Lawsuits

For the family lawyer, David Bianchi, it is the worst “hazing in the history of the United States”. Mandated by the student’s parents, he prosecuted the presumed organizer as well as the person who was slow to act after seeing the unconscious student. The youths are being prosecuted for negligence, underage drinking and “hazing”. Basically, 22 people were also cited in another trial, but settlements were found to end the prosecution. So no one has officially been charged with “hazing” yet.

The lawyer hopes this time to convict the two principals involved under Missouri’s anti-hazing law. This is the first time it has been used in a trial. As its name suggests, the law prohibits hazing and the distribution of alcohol to minors.

Pending the verdict, the University of Missouri suspended the fraternity. 13 students were also sanctioned by their establishment, even if this sanction was not made public. Some of these young people had already been involved in other incidents in the past.

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