Baton Rouge, LA – A Louisiana college student has been arrested for a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity hazing incident after the antics almost killed a freshman pledge.
Police began investigating after a Louisiana State University (LSU) freshman was dropped off at the emergency room on Oct. 18 in critical condition, WBRZ reported.
Hospital staff told investigators that the freshman was unresponsive and foaming at the mouth.
Police wrote that the student had a “pink frothy foam coming from his nose and mouth, which indicated organ failure” when he arrived at the hospital, The Advocate reported.
His oxygen levels were low and his body had begun shutting down, so he was placed in intensive care by doctors and eventually recovered.
Toxicology later showed that the student’s blood-alcohol level was .451 when he arrived at the hospital, WBRZ reported.
Detectives took the cell phones from the other fraternity members involved in the incident and quickly figured out who was to blame.
Text messages showed that 21-year-old Terry “Pat” Reynolds II had sent a GroupMe message to 59 new Phi Kappa Psi fraternity pledges ordering them to come to his home on Lake Breeze Drive.
“If you’re not doing s–t get over to my place, need a few” Reynolds wrote, according to WBRZ. “Hope you’re ready to get hammered if you pull up.”
Then he sent several follow up messages that implied that pledges couldn’t say no to his invitation.
“The beauty of the situation is that you n—-s have 4 weeks of pledgeship left” Reynolds warned. “”You boys f–k me, we will F–K YOU.”
“It’s open season starting tomorrow,” Reynolds added in another message.
Police investigators determined that Reynolds had given alcohol to about a dozen freshmen and forced them to finish whole bottles of liquor as a group, The Advocate reported.
In some cases, Reynolds allegedly told pledges they couldn’t leave until they finished a bottle.
Witnesses said Reynolds punished the pledges who didn’t drink fast enough by making them drink more, WBRZ reported.
Investigators also discovered group messages that Reynolds sent later in the night that clearly indicated he was aware of potential problems with the amount of alcohol the pledges had consumed.
In one message, he told other pledges they “better get over here before people get too blackout,” WBRZ reported.
“The N—-s that are at my house will need rides y’all better figure it out,” Reynolds texted the group.
“There’s at least 10 of them blackout they need rides,” he warned, according to WBRZ.
He also informed the pledges that 10 of them needed to be at his house the next day for “finish-it Sunday.”
Investigators determined that although only one pledge ended up in the emergency room, Reynolds forced at least 13 of the freshman trying to become members of Phi Kappa Psi to drink to dangerous excess, WBRZ reported.
Police said no one made an effort to call 911 or get medical help for the freshman who ended up in critical condition or any of the other drunk pledges, The Advocate reported.
There were piles of “fresh vomit” all around the outside of Reynold’s residence, according to the police report.
The dangerously-drunk pledge went to a female friend’s apartment after he left Reynold’s party and she coordinated efforts to take him to the hospital.
The student who helped him get to get the hospital killed herself a few hours later, prompting speculation about how that was related to the hazing incident, The Advocate reported.
LSU suspended Phi Kappa Psi a few days after the incident occurred.
A week after that, police arrested Reynolds, The Advocate reported.
He was charged with one count of felony hazing, one count of failure to seek assistance, and 12 counts of misdemeanor hazing.
The hazing charge comes from a new law that resulted from the activism of the parents of another LSU student who died as a result of fraternity hazing at that university, The Advocate reported.
Phi Delta Theta pledge Max Gruver had a blood-alcohol level of .495 when he died in 2017 after a night of forced drinking with active fraternity members.
A lawyer for Reynolds said that his client had not “engaged in any kind of coercive misconduct, period,” The Advocate reported.
“We’ve all been 18, 19, 20, and done foolish things that we regret,” attorney Lewis Unglesby said. “It’s just part of the process you go through when you go off to college, but Pat [Reynolds] is not any kind of criminal and certainly has nothing but respect and kind feelings to all of those young men in his fraternity, particularly the new ones.”