9 fraternity members arrested in La. for hazing crimes

Associated Press

Baton Rouge, La. – Louisiana State University announced the arrests of nine fraternity members for hazing-related crimes on Wednesday in a toughened approach to such incidents after the death of a pledge in a fraternity drinking ritual.

The men arrested, ranging from ages 19 to 23, were members of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Their charges range from misdemeanor hazing to felony second-degree battery and false imprisonment.

DKE’s national organization closed LSU’s century-old chapter last month, saying members violated the organization’s alcohol and hazing policies. LSU said the hazing allegedly happened last fall.

“This type of behavior is unacceptable and at complete odds with what we expect from our students. It does not belong at LSU,” university spokesman Jason Droddy said in a statement.

Neither the university nor the fraternal organization provided more details about the allegations.

“This is a sad day for the university, but one that illustrates the cultural shift occurring at LSU,” Droddy said. “The quick action by the national DKE organization by revoking the chapter’s charter and the cooperation of several witnesses in this investigation demonstrate a growing recognition that hazing and other harmful activities cannot be tolerated.”

The arrests come as LSU cracks down on fraternity and sorority activities following the September 2017 death of 18-year-old freshman Maxwell Gruver, of Georgia, who died in what authorities describe as a hazing-related drinking ritual in another fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. Gruver’s blood alcohol content was six times higher than the legal limit for driving.

Louisiana lawmakers toughened the state’s laws against hazing last year at the urging of Gruver’s parents.