Bowling Green State University freshman Stone Foltz died in a fraternity hazing drinking ritual in which he was forced to participate. The fraternity pledge exchanged texts with his mother directly before leaving for an off-campus Pi Kappa Alpha pledge party, an event that would result in the tragic death of the 20-year-old. He told his mother that he didn’t want to participate in the event because he knew it revolved around a drinking ritual. With that said, he added that if he didn’t participate, he would not be allowed in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
During the March 4, 2021 Pi Kappa Alpha pledge party, Foltz and other pledges were ordered to finish 750-milliliter bottles of liquor. The fraternity hazing ritual left the young man so intoxicated he needed help to get home. Once there, his fraternity members left him alone, unconscious. Eventually, when he did not revive, his roommate called 911 and he was transported to the hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital, Foltz was placed on life support. Less than three days later, he was dead, another casualty of fraternity hazing.
On Thursday, April 29, eight men associated with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity hazing incident were indicted as the result of Foltz’s death. The men were charged with crimes that include involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, and evidence tampering.
An autopsy performed on Foltz revealed that the man with his entire future ahead of him died from fatal alcohol intoxication. He has a blood alcohol content of .035, over four times the legal limit.
The indictment of the eight men in the Bowling Green State University fraternity hazing death is only the latest action taken in response to the deadly Pi Kappa Alpha drinking ritual. The university has expelled the fraternity from campus. In addition, the national Pi Kappa Alpha organization has suspended the charter of the Bowling Green chapter.
In addition to engaging in conduct that directly resulted in the death of Foltz, some of those charged are alleged to have provided misinformation about the fraternity hazing incident to law enforcement investigators. They are also said to have disposed of or destroyed evidence to cover up what happened to Foltz and to “protect” members of the fraternity who participated in the fatal hazing incident.
The prosecutor assigned to the case indicated that he expects more people who attended the hazing “party” to be charged as well. In announcing the indictments against the eight men to date, the prosecutor remarked “I want to say this to the people who were at the event: If you do not even attempt to be part of the solution, you may well be identified as part of the problem and we will respond to that.”
The state’s attorney went on to muse how he hoped he never had to prosecute a fatal fraternity hazing case in the future. “I want this to be the only and last time that this type of case is prosecuted in Wood County,” Dobson said. “Please, God, let it be the last time that it’s prosecuted in the United States.” Despite states stiffening penalties for fraternity hazing and colleges and universities clamping down on such practices, this type of activity seems to be continuing unabated in schools across the country.
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