Two former Towson University students are being charged, criminally, after an off-campus hazing incident went terribly wrong.
It happened at a house in the 300 block of Hillen Road in Baltimore County, where members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity resided.
The alleged incident happened during rush week at the university, when pledges are made to perform tasks to join fraternities and sororities.
Police said the two former students, Evan Francis and Alexander Cantor, both 21, were responsible.
"We were called in almost immediately after it happened and began the investigation then," Elise Armacost, a spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police and Fire, said.
That investigation revealed that a 19-year-old pledge of the fraternity was made to perform "strenuous" workouts and ingest some type of "caustic" substance.
It led to blood vomiting and serious burns in his esophagus, stomach and parts of his intestines, and a week's stay in the hospital after he was taken there when a friend contacted his mother.
"One of the suspects actually tried to cover this whole thing up by telling the victim not to seek medical treatment," Armacost said.
Cantor, investigators wrote in charging documents, initially discouraged the pledge from seeking medical treatment. Police wrote Cantor also made arrangements to have fraternity-related items removed from the pledge's dorm room.
“First of all, hazing is against the law. We take it very, very seriously," Ray Feldmann, a university spokesman, said.
The university suspended the fraternity through the year 2021. The alleged hazing incident, officials said, violates student codes of conduct.
“When students arrive on campus and we meet with the students and we meet with Greek organizations, we make it very clear,” Feldmann said.
Francis and Cantor were released on $35,000 and $50,000 bond, respectively. Both face one count each of hazing and reckless endangerment.
“It's not part just some harmless part of college life that sometimes gets out of hand. It is a crime in Maryland,” Armacost said.
Feldmann said the pledge in this incident is registered to resume classes at Towson this fall.