Dad calls son's death at frat 'preventable'

Penn State officials banned Beta Theta Pi from campus for at least five years, with the possibility of the ban becoming permanent pending the results of the investigation.

The new details were revealed Friday after authorities announced charges against 18 members of Beta Theta Pi and the fraternity itself over the death of 19-year-old sophomore Timothy Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Piazza died after consuming massive amounts of alcohol during a hazing ritual and then falling down a flight of stairs, then falling again, repeatedly throughout the night on February 2, 2017.

Members of the fraternity moved him to a couch but did not call for emergency help until the next morning, about 12 hours later.

The pledges were pressured to run a "gauntlet" of drinking stations that required them to drink vodka, beer and wine.

Piazza's father Jim has called the death "a senseless and very preventable tragedy" that was the "result of a feeling of entitlement and flagrant disregard" of the law among the fraternity.

Eight frat brothers at Beta Theta Pi and the frat are accused of involuntary manslaughter. "A child who just wanted to come to college here, who put his faith in Penn State".

On paper, Beta Theta Pi was a model fraternity, but if you read fraternity members testimony to the Grand Jury, and a check of text messages between them about the night Timothy Piazza died, it shows an entirely different picture, one that President Eric Barron calls inhumane, sickening and hard to understand.

Piazza and other pledges showed up at the frat house on "bid acceptance night", when they were formally invited to join the fraternity, Miller's statement said.

During the next 40 minutes, fraternity brothers shook him, tried to prop him up, covered him with a blanket, wiped his face and attempted to dress him before one finally called 911, the grand jury said.

The eight charged with involuntary manslaughter were among 18 fraternity members who were charged in connection with the case. University President Eric Barron called the report heart-wrenching, sickening and incomprehensible.

Investigators say they found disturbing evidence of "historical engagement in hazing activities", including the forced drinking that led to Piazza's fall and death.

On February 2 the fraternity began its initiation, which involved significant quantities of alcohol, prosecutors said.

In the week leading up to Timothy Piazza's death, "one Beta brother bought almost $1,180 worth of alcohol, including Four Loko and Crown Russe vodka, prosecutors said", according to NBC.

His parents, Jim and Evelyn Piazza, stood by as the charges were announced, according to an Associated Press report from the news conference Friday.

Piazza tried to get up in the middle of the night, but fell backward and hit his head on the wood floor. It found that a text message recovered by police urged pledges to get rid of evidence of alcohol and that conversations discussing deleting conversations from a messaging app were discovered. He's not seen on video again until the brothers discover him on the basement floor at about 10 a.m. "His chest was bare, his breathing heavy and he had blood on his face".

Other fraternities and sororities at Penn State are restricted from recruiting new members until 2018 as well as limited as to the number of social events they can hold and how much and what kind of alcohol they may serve. Empathy and compassion are vital to who we are as Penn Staters, citizens and members of society.

"For anyone looking across the national landscape, you realize that we have a national problem that is associated with excessive drinking", Barron said.