UNCC fraternity accused of hazing after teen lands in intensive care

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A fraternity at UNC-Charlotte is under investigation for hazing by both the university and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office after a weekend campout left a pledge in intensive care at a local hospital with his blood alcohol more than five times the legal limit.

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has been suspended and ordered not to recruit any new members while the investigation into the incident goes on.

A report from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said the 18-year-old pledge from Waxhaw was forced to drink during the campout in the Uwharrie National Forest on Sept. 6 and 7.

An attorney who represents the pledge's family told Eyewitness News that he was one of 15 pledges on the campout, where drinking was required.

"A statement was made by one of the brothers that everybody ought to have a beer in their hands," said attorney Mike Bednarik.

Bednarik said that the pledges were told to "shotgun" three beers and then handed three half-gallon jugs of liquor and told that all 15 had to collectively empty the bottles in 15 minutes.

"The next morning when the pledges started waking up, they found they could not wake Marcus up," Bednarik said.

"So they apparently put him in a sleeping bag and carried him half an hour out of the forest to the cars," he said.
   
From there, Bednarik said they took the pledge to a local hospital where doctors determined his blood alcohol level was 0.42 percent, which is more than five times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
   
"That would appear to fit UNC-Charlotte's definition of hazing," Bednarik said.
   
"We take this very seriously," said Dr. Arthur Jackson, UNC-Charlotte's vice chancellor for student affairs.
   
Jackson said the fraternity has been suspended and is not allowed to conduct any activities as long as the investigation continues.
   
"Whenever it gets to this kind of case, it gets to be a major case and that's why the sanctions could go anywhere from probation to expulsion from school, for both the organization and the individuals," Jackson said.
   
The pledge's father said his son is back at school, but it's not know yet if he will suffer any long-term consequences from the incident.