A Louisiana State University student died after a hazing incident disguised as a “Bible study” put his blood alcohol level at .495 — more than six times the legal limit, NBC News reports.
18-year-old freshman Maxwell Gruver was pledging to become a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity on Sept. 13 when members doused him in hot sauce and mustard and ordered him to recite the Greek alphabet and answer trivia questions about the group. If he didn’t answer correctly, he was forced to chug hard liquor.
Grover died at a Baton Rouge hospital following the incident last month from “acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration,” his autopsy revealed.
This week, LSU police issued arrest warrants for 10 current and former university students, charging them with misdemeanor hazing. One student, Matthew Naquin, 19, was additionally charged with negligent homicide.
On the night of the incident, Gruver and fellow pledges received a group text saying a “Bible study” would be held at a chapter house. At the meeting, they would be asked questions about Phi Delta Theta and forced to do “wall sits” and “planks” and take gulps of “Diesel” if they didn’t give the right answer.
One of the pledges "stated he could hear Gruver messing up the Greek alphabet and Naquin tell him to drink," the arrest warrant for Naquin states, NBC News reports.
All 10 men turned themselves in on Wednesday, where Naquin’s bail was set at $10,000 and the other defendants were held on $5,000 bail. None have entered a plea, but if convicted of hazing, they may face up to 30 days in jail and expulsion from LSU.
None of the defendants have spoken publicly, but Phi Delta Theta fraternity issued a statement Wednesday after kicking the students out of the organization.
“Actions such as those described in the charges filed today are completely inconsistent with the values of Phi Delta Theta and in full violation of our established and communicated risk management policies,” the fraternity said in a statement, PEOPLE reports. “Phi Delta Theta has formally removed the membership of those charged in this incident. This action effectively severs ties with those alleged to be involved.”
All Greek activities at LSU have been suspended following Gruver’s death and the fraternity removed its charter from the university’s chapter after finding that members violated risk management policies, including the alcohol-free housing policy.
Photo credit: Facebook / Max Gruver