22 members of a North Illinois University fraternity were arrested yesterday. They are charged with being a part of the hazing ritual that lead freshman David Bogenberger to drink himself to death. On November 2nd, the 19-year-old finance major from Palatine was found dead in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.
Fraternity brothers Hazel Vergaralope, Michael Phillip, and Michael Pfest turn themselves in after the arrest warrants were issued. Detectives found that David had to answer a series of questions in exchange for vodka and other hard liquor for a two-hour period. This was an annual ritual known as “parents’ night,” a wild party in which senior members of fraternities and sororities are paired to new members.
According to the postmortem toxicology report, his BAC (Blood Alcohol Content was five times the legal driving limit. All David wanted to do was to make friends at his father’s alma mater and fit in. Instead, he got cardiac arrhythmia from significant alcohol intoxication.
The DeKalb Police Department said the 22 fraternity members were charged with “creating a situation where the pledges felt compelled to consume alcohol as part of membership initiation and the Greek parenting process.” David’s parents, Gary and Ruth Bogenberger, also issued a statement saying universities must do more to “stop the hazing and initiation rituals.”
Felony hazing carries a possible prison sentence of 1 to 3 years. Whereas the misdemeanor hazing charge, is a penalty of up to 364 days in jail, with probation as an option.