Two former Missouri frat brothers charged in hazing incident

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A grand jury indicted two former fraternity members at the University of Missouri-Columbia in connection with a hazing incident last fall that left a student blind and with permanent brain damage.

The grand jury in Boone County, Mo., charged Ryan Delanty and Thomas Shultz with a felony charge of hazing and a misdemeanor charge of supplying alcohol to a person under 21. Shultz is also charged with tampering with physical evidence.

Daniel Santulli, who was at a pledge for Missouri’s Phi Gamma Delta fraternity chapter, was found unresponsive at the chapter’s house on the night of Oct. 19 and was admitted to the hospital with suspected alcohol poisoning.

That evening, Delanty had allegedly given Santulli a bottle of vodka and told him to drink it, and another member who was charged with misdemeanors earlier this month allegedly gave Santulli beer from a funnel and tube, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Santulli had a blood alcohol level of .468 and ended up with his face on the floor after partially sliding off a couch, according to the outlet. He was later hospitalized and placed on a ventilator.

“Danny has suffered massive brain damage,” David Bianchi, Santulli’s attorney, told The Hill. “He is blind, cannot speak or communicate in any way, cannot walk and will require 24 hour care for the rest of his life.”

The family has filed civil lawsuits against other members of the fraternity, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“This is a good start, but there are at least a dozen other fraternity officers and members whose conduct was just as bad, and they need to be charged with felony hazing as well,” Bianchi told The Hill. “Hopefully, those indictments are coming.”

The university announced last month that 13 students had received proposed disciplinary sanctions in connection with the incident, but the school did not specify the punishments. Mizzou also said it was conducting a review of campus behavior.

“In our conversation with student leaders, they are 100% with us in making our campus even safer for everyone, but there is continued work to do,” University of Missouri President Mun Choi said in last month’s statement.

The school said it withdrew the chapter’s status as a student organization and closed its house following the incident.

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