The brother of Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) faces possible charges in the death of an Oakland Gardens man during a fraternity hazing in December, according to published reports.
Andy Meng, 28, of Bayside is national president of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity, whose Baruch College chapter is accused of using illegal hazing practices in the death of Michael Deng, 19. Deng wanted to join the fraternity and died on Dec. 8 during an initiation weekend in Tunkhannock Township in the Poconos.
Although Meng was not at the retreat, law enforcement officials are looking into whether he instructed members by phone to get rid of incriminating fraternity items before police arrived, according to the reports.
They say that Meng could face manslaughter or murder charges, depending on police findings, if he helped delay Deng’s medical treatment, who reportedly was not taken to a hospital until more than 90 minutes after he was knocked unconscious.
The District Attorney’s Office in Monroe County, whose jurisdiction includes Tunkhannock Township, did not comment for this story.
Deng allegedly was made to wear a heavy backpack and was blindfolded while he was repeatedly tackled by fraternity members. He suffered major brain trauma.
Officials at Baruch College, where Deng was a freshman studying finance, have announced a permanent ban on the Asian-American fraternity after some members did not fully cooperate with the school’s investigation.
Following the death, Meng issued two statements on Dec. 12 and 16 on the Pi Delta Psi fraternity website, noting that the national organization had revoked the Baruch chapter’s charter. “Baruch Colony has violated the values and rules of our organization,” Meng said, “including our strict no hazing policy.”
“We continue to cooperate with the proper entities and ask all individual members involved to come forward in aiding the investigation,” he added.
Meng’s attorney, Todd Greenberg, denied any allegations and called the published reports sheer speculation, citing one in particular. “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. I do not know the source of the story in the New York Post but to this day there has been no official contact from any authority from Pennsylvania,” he said in an email.
Greenberg added that out of respect for the Deng family “there will be no further comment in this matter.”
Rep. Meng offered the following statement on the tragic event: “The death of this young man is a horrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to his family and urge all who were involved in this incident to fully cooperate with the authorities.”
Grace and Andy Meng’s father, former Flushing Assemblyman Jimmy Meng, was sentenced to a month in jail last March in a bribery scheme.