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Police: Alcohol, Hazing May Have Played A Role In Student Fraternity Death

State College Police released a statement this afternoon about the ongoing investigation into Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Student Timothy Piazza fell down a flight of stairs last week and later died from injuries sustained after the fraternity did not contact emergency services for almost 12 hours after the fall. Police say excessive alcohol consumption and fraternity hazing may have played a role in Piazza’s death.

Though the investigation is ongoing, police said that video evidence, witness testimonies, and other evidence helped them determine that Piazza was one of 14 pledges to the fraternity and the night of the incident was bid acceptance night.

“Additionally, video, witness statements, and other evidence have been obtained by the detectives who are investigating the role(s) that excessive alcohol consumption and Fraternity Hazing activity may have played in the death of Timothy Piazza, who was one of fourteen pledges who were present for a bid acceptance ceremony at the fraternity,” the release reads.

Police said in a media briefing on Wednesday afternoon that they are looking into who purchased the alcohol for the fraternity and said in the release they are working with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement Agency as part of the investigation. Police are also working with the Centre County District Attorney’s Office and Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct while they continue to investigate.

We will continue to update you with more information on this story as it becomes available.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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