By Sadef Ali Kully
Five Baruch college fraternity brothers have been charged with murder in the hazing death of 19-year-old Michael Deng, a freshman from Oakland Gardensl, who died during an initiation ritual in Pennsylvania nearly two years ago, the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department said.
A total of 37 fraternity members face charges, including assault, criminal conspiracy and homicide, according to a statement released by the police.
Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan, Raymond Lam, Daniel Li and Sheldon Wong were charged with criminal homicide, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, hindering apprehension, hazing and criminal conspiracy, police said.
Andy Meng, the younger brother of U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who was head of the fraternity, faces lesser felony charges of hindering apprehension, hazing and criminal conspiracy of covering up evidence, according to the Pocono police department.
A grand jury in Monroe County, Pa. handed up third-degree murder charges against five members of the Pi Delta Psi chapter of the Asian fraternity and indicted 32 others on charges from aggravated assault to hazing, police said.
Deng died on Dec. 9, 2013, the day after he was blindfolded, made to carry a heavy backpack across the frozen ground and tackled, police said. He was knocked unconscious and the authorities said his fraternity members delayed 90 minutes before seeking medical help.
Andy Meng allegedly was called by the frightened fraternity brothers and told them to hide items with the Pi Delta Psi name, according to the police.
In addition to the five Baruch students facing homicide charges, three others – Steffen Loh, Anthony Phung and Steven Chen – were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, hazing and criminal conspiracy, police said.
David Chen and Brian Choong were charged with simple assault and criminal conspiracy, among other counts, police said.