Family of Penn State Hazing Fatality: 'This Was Murder of Our Son'
The parents of Timothy Piazza say their son was 'tortured' and his death was 'murder.'
The parents of Timothy Piazza, a 19-year-old Penn State student who died after an alleged fraternity hazing ritual, are venting their anger and despair at the shocking grand jury report of his death.
“This wasn’t boys being boys,” Jim Piazza, the boy’s father, told CBS News. “This was (the) murder of our son. They tortured him for 12 hours. They let him suffer for 12 hours.
“He died a slow and painful death at the hands of these ‘men of principal,’ as they call it,” Piazza said.
The Beta Theta Pi fraternity has been forever banned from the university following the February death of Timothy.
A May 5 grand jury report said Piazza had consumed several types of alcohol during a short period of time at a hazing rite in the fraternity house.
He fell down a flight of basement steps, and was captured on surveillance cameras lurching around the residence, the report said. After his fall down the stairs, fraternity members are seen carrying him upstairs and putting him on a couch, according to the report.
Different members tried to rouse him by slapping him in the face and pouring liquids on him, the report said. One fraternity brother punched him in the abdomen, according to the grand jury.
After 3 a.m., tape showed him rolling off the couch, trying to stand, but then hitting his head on the hardwood floor. A second attempt caused him to fall face-first, the grand jury said.
He remained on the floor for the next few hours, according to the report. At 10 a.m., he was again found on the basement floor, the tapes showed. Frat members waited 48 minutes before calling 911, the report said.
“To hit him and slap him and brutalize him, they should not have trying to get a response. They should have been trying to help him,” his brother, Mike, told CBS.
Timothy’s girlfriend, Kaitlyn Tempalsky, asked “How do you pour liquid on someone, slap them in the face and hit them after you just watched them fall and they were unconscious?”
The victim’s mother, Evelyn, said, “To know that he was lying at the bottom of the basement steps for any length of time all by himself, it all is terrible.”
Eighteen members of the fraternity have been charged in connection with the student’s death. Eight face felony counts that could result in up to 20 years in prison.
“I have a lifetime of absence for my son,” his father said. “I would be good with 20 years.”
The college has launched an investigation into the death.
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