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Two former University of Missouri fraternity leaders have been accused of leaving a brain-damaged student in what their family attorney called “the worst fraternity hazing injury in America.”
Former Phi Gamma Delta fraternity members Ryan Delanty and Thomas Shultz were indicted by a Boone County grand jury on Friday on a series of charges, including felony hazing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said.
The charges stem from the hazing caught on camera of 19-year-old Daniel Santulli, who was forced to drink beer and drink a liter of vodka, leaving him blind and unable to walk or speak.
He had to be revived at a hospital after his heart stopped with a blood alcohol content of 0.486, six times the legal limit.
The damage was “as horrible as it could be and (to have him) still alive,” said David Bianchi, an attorney who specializes in hazing and represents Santulli’s family.
“It’s the worst frat hazing injury in America,” he said, saying he “has been doing these cases for 30 years.”
“I know the defense attorneys who defend the fraternities. And everyone agrees this is the worst thing ever,” he insisted to the Post-Dispatch.
Bianchi filed civil lawsuits against 23 fraternity members, all but two of whom settled out of court, he said.
“There are probably another dozen or more fraternity members who were responsible for this hazing event,” he said of the possibility of more charges.
Shultz, 21, is accused of being the vice president of the fraternity that collected a quart of vodka from Tito in October for hazing, despite Phi Gamma Delta’s alleged “no alcohol” policy, the Post-Dispatch said. .
He allegedly handed the family-size bottle to Delanty, who was Santulli’s “engagement father,” who told him he had to drink it, according to the report.
Another member, Alec Wetzler, also poured beer into Santulli’s mouth with a funnel and tube, the suit says. Wetzler was indicted in early June on misdemeanor charges of supplying alcohol to a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor.