BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A member of a fraternity at LSU has now been arrested in connection with a hazing incident that sent another member of the fraternity to the hospital recently.
Officials from LSU say the university’s police department conducted a thorough investigation into the alleged activities of Phi Kappa Psi and as a result, arrested Terry Pat Reynolds II. He was arrested and booked Monday, Nov. 2 on the following charges:
- Felony criminal hazing
- Misdemeanor criminal hazing (12 counts)
- Failure to seek assistance
Reynolds' bond was set at $13,500. Reynolds posted bond and was released from jail Monday. District Attorney Hillar Moore says, if convicted, the 21-year-old could face some stiff penalties.
“Misdemeanor hazing is $1,000 and up to six months and felony hazing is up to a $10,000 fine and up to five years in jail,” said Moore.
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According to the arrest report, officers responded to a local hospital around 6:15 a.m. on Oct. 19 in reference to hazing investigation involving severe alcohol poisoning. The victim was checked into the hospital around 3 a.m. after being dropped off by a group of males, later identified as members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Staff members at the hospital say the victim was unresponsive upon arrival and had frothy, pink foam coming from his mouth and nose, indicating organ failure. The victim had to be placed on life support immediately, the report states. The victim reportedly had a 0.451% blood alcohol concentration upon arrival at the hospital, which is nearly six times the legal limit.
“His oxygen level was down. He was foaming and not able to walk. He had to be put on life-saving measures and his temperature was very low so a lot of things that indicate organ failure was going on,” Moore added.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked the District Attorney if it is a miracle that the pledge survived.
“I mean it’s fortunate that someone came to his aid as quickly as they did because it seems to be just from what I read that 30 more minutes or an hour could have been deadly and fatal,” Moore answered.
Detectives were able to identify Reynolds as a suspect after looking at text messages sent from several confiscated phones belonging to members of the fraternity who dropped the victim off at the hospital.
It appears Reynolds, who holds the position of “new member educator” on the Pledge Board for the fraternity, invited a number of new members to his home on Lake Breeze Drive for a party the night of Oct. 18. His message reportedly said, “if you’re not doing sh** get over to my place, need a few”. The message also said, “hope you’re ready to get hammered if you pull up”.
Reynolds then reportedly provided the new members with alcohol and told them they would not be allowed to leave until they finished the whole bottle. Reynolds also reportedly coerced the new members to drink more if they did not finish the previous bottle fast enough.
The arrest report goes on to state that Reynolds sent out more messages via the app, GroupMe, inviting more new members over, saying, “need 3 more” and “better get over here before people get too blackout”. Reynolds also reportedly messaged the group saying, “the Ni**** that are at my house will need rides y’all better figure it out” and “there’s at least 10 of them blackout they need rides”.
The arrest report notes that no calls were ever placed to 911.
Later in the night, it appears Reynolds became angry and sent more aggressive messages to the group, saying “the beauty of the situation is you ni**** have 4 weeks of pledgeship left” and “you boys f*** me, we will F*** YOU”, before finally saying “its open season starting tomorrow”.
Through the investigation, LSUPD determined 18 new members were involved, including five designated drivers. One of those members was of course the victim who wound up in the hospital. The other 12 are considered victims of misdemeanor hazing. It appears the five designated drivers did not consume alcohol that night.
A search of Reynolds' house on Oct. 19 revealed partially consumed and empty bottles of alcohol in nearly every room of the house. There were also a number of bottles of alcohol in outdoor trash cans, as well as fresh vomit throughout the house, the report states.
The school says now that the criminal investigation is complete, the Office of Student Advocacy & Accountability will also conduct any investigation into any possible Code of Student Conduct violations that may have taken place.
The District Attorney says they have plenty of more messages and witness statements to go through as this case continues to play out in his office.
“We have a long way to go,” said Moore. “Over twenty statements, a lot of cellphone data and a lot of text messaging so wherever the date or the information leads us, that’s where we’ll go.”
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