But the night turned tragic and now Piazza is dead and 18 members of the fraternity face of a slew of charges including manslaughter.
Police had said hazing and excessive drinking at the private chapter house February 2 contributed to the death of Timothy Piazza, 19, a sophomore engineering student from Lebanon, New Jersey. He says he knows firsthand since it happened to him. Police said he fell head first down 15 basement steps at around 11 p.m., but first responders were not called until nearly 12 hours later. In his testimony, Davis said he was told to leave and they had it under control.
When Piazza was finally brought to the hospital it was found that his spleen was "shattered", he suffered extensive internal bleeding, and extensive head injuries.
Erie News Now has learned that Penn State has a Responsible Action Protocol created in response to the University Park Undergraduate Association's campaign for a medical amnesty policy. The school's student directory says he's studying kinesiology, the study of human movement typically associated with athletic trainers and similar careers.
Penn State President Eric Barron gave a public response to the recent announcement of charges against 18 members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity for their role in the death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza.
The former Penn State Beta Theta Pi now sits empty on Burrowes Road after being shut down.
The 19-year-old sophomore student passed away in February after falling almost five metres down a flight of stairs, with his would-be fraternity brothers waiting more than 12 hours to alert the authorities.
About 20 minutes later, a "visibly intoxicated" Piazza was assisted to a couch, but he got up and staggered toward the front door, detectives said. "They had faculty advisors, they had a handsome house, they had cameras, there were no external parties - we would have said this a model fraternity".
One of the defense attorneys in the case told ABC News on Friday, "Of course, it's a tragedy".
Also charged last week with reckless endangerment, hazing and alcohol-related offenses were Parker Yochim, 19, Waterford, Pennsylvania; and Craig Heimer, 21, of Port Matilda, Pennsylvania. While some fraternity members face up to 200 separate counts, others, including McCann, only face a single charge. The others face charges ranging from furnishing alcohol to minors to evidence tampering.
The school has permanently banned the fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, after looking into events around the death of Piazza, a 19-year-old engineering student from Lebanon, New Jersey.
Piazza died less than two days after falling and hitting his head several times after a pledge acceptance ceremony at the fraternity house in February.
The investigation found some frat members tried to hide what happened. Recently-revealed text messages indicate that pledges were made to do "the elephant walk".
In the case of Beta Theta Pi, Lohse said, "I think you can clearly see that all it would have taken is one person to stand up and have the courage to do the right thing".
The Penn State Interfraternity Council issued a statement saying its "thoughts continue to lie with the Piazza family as the justice process moves forward". The remaining defendants face arraignment early this week, the district attorney's office said Friday.
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