Although no one has been charged yet, the Luzerne County Pa. coroner’s office said earlier this week that the death of Bayside resident Michael Deng, 19, has been ruled a homicide.
Deng, a freshman at Baruch College, was being initiated into a fraternity during a hazing weekend at a rented house in the Poconos. As part of the ritual, he was allegedly made to wear a heavy backpack and was blindfolded while he was repeatedly tackled by fraternity members. He suffered major brain trauma.
The coroner’s ruling indicates that Deng died by the hands of another. It is believed that charges could include evidence tampering and manslaughter
Deng died on Dec. 8 and it is alleged that members of the fraternity in the house did not bring him for treatment for more than two hours after he became unconscious.
It is estimated there were 30 members of the fraternity, Pi Delta Psi at the weekend retreat, but by the time the police arrived, only 10 were left.
According to police documents, fraternity members changed the unconscious youth into dry clothes and looked up his symptoms on Google.
The area’s district attorney said in published reports that the decision to charge individuals involved in the homicide is not imminent. Police continue to interview fraternity members.
Baruch College officials have banned the Asian-American fraternity permanently after some members did not fully cooperate with the school’s investigation. The fraternity’s national organization has also revoked the Baruch chapter.
Heading the national group is Andy Meng, younger brother of Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing). It is alleged that he too may face possible charges in the case even though he was not at the retreat.
Pennsylvania law enforcement officials are allegedly looking into whether he instructed members by phone to get rid of incriminating fraternity items before police arrived.
Following the death, Meng said his group is continuing to cooperate with authorities and his attorney, Todd Greenberg, denied any allegations.
“Andy Meng was not present in Pennsylvania at the time of his [Deng’s] death, had no role in his medical treatment and did not commit any wrongdoing regarding the investigation of his death.”
He added that the report was “sheer speculation” about his client.