Two males have been accused in association with an alleged hazing incident at the University of Missouri-Columbia that left 19-year-old student Daniel Santulli blind and not able to move or talk on his own.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a grand jury in Boone County, Missouri, indicted Ryan Patrick Delanty of Ballwin and Thomas Andrew Shultz of Chesterfield on felony hazing charges as well as misdemeanor counts of furnishing liquor to a juvenile or intoxicated individual on Friday.
According to the article, Delanty is roughly 20 years old, while Shultz is 21.
Santulli is being looked for by his parents, Thomas and Mary Pat, who have filed a lawsuit against the fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, the owner of the home, and 23 members. Except for two persons, the civil complaint has been resolved out of court, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Shultz is also facing a felony charge for messing with physical proof in a criminal prosecution, according to the Columbia Missourian.
According to Santulli family lawyer David Bianchi, it’s the worst fraternity hazing injury ever in the United States. They’ve been handling these matters for the past 30 years. He is familiar with the hazy landscape. He knows the defence attorneys who represent the fraternities. And all believe that this is the worst situation ever.
According to the complaint, on the night of Oct. 19, 2021, Santulli arrived to the fraternity house for so-called “Pledge Dad Reveal Night,” after having been “repetitively forced to clean the brothers’ rooms and bring food, wine, and marijuana to them at all hours of the night.” He was also told to crawl into a garbage can with broken glass inside, which resulted in a serious gash on his foot that needed stitches and forced him to use crutches.
According to the lawsuit, Shultz had picked up the booze for the night as fraternity president. Delanty, Santulli’s pledge father, gave him a family-sized bottle of vodka and told him he had to complete it.
Alec Wetzler of St. Louis, another fraternity brother, poured beer into Santulli’s mouth with a funnel.
According to the claim, Santulli was left on a sofa with a blood alcohol level of.468, and another member watched his worsening state but did nothing. Santulli fell from the couch, his face on the floor, his skin pallid and his lips blue. Members ultimately transported him to the hospital, where medical personnel discovered that he had quit breathing and his heart had stopped. He was brought back to life and placed on a ventilator.
Days later, he was taken off the ventilator and was able to breathe on his own, per the complaint, “but he was unresponsive, ignorant of his surroundings, unable to speak, and had a substantial lesion to his brain. His situation has not changed nine months later.
According to the lawsuit, Santulli had broken down weeping on the phone to his sister two days before the hazing event about the pressure of the fraternity initiation procedure, and his family had begged him to discontinue pledging.
As per the lawsuit Danny, on the other hand, was not a quitter and did not want to be embarrassed and mocked by those whose ranks he was attempting to join. The accused were well aware of this and had witnessed it all previously.
Wetzler was charged earlier this month with misdemeanor counts of giving liquor to a juvenile and possessing liquor by a minor in relation to the matter last autumn. Bianchi stated on Friday that he believes the Boone County prosecutor would seek more criminal charges against Shultz and Delanty.
In a news announcement issued in May, the university stated that the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity chapter had been expelled off campus and that 13 individuals had been reprimanded, but did not specify how.
Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri, at the time stated that the wellbeing of the Mizzou community is their primary focus, and they must discuss liquor use and other issues in holistic ways to provide education and services that work together to promote safer behaviour and an overall culture. In their discussions with student leaders, they are completely on board with them in making the campus even safer for all, but there is still work to be done.