google10fa0980c6101c7f.html The Many Faces of Death: The HAZING Death That Changed the Law, USA


The stories mentioned on this site are of real deaths (famous or otherwise), and may contain graphic pics, text and/or videos. This site is NOT for the squeamish or Faint of Heart! You have been warned.

Strange as their stories may be, they were flesh and blood once, and were loved by people who knew them. Let's respect the deaths of those who have been mentioned....

Monday, August 15, 2011

0 The HAZING Death That Changed the Law, USA

On February 2, 2005, Matt Carrington died as the direct result of a hazing ritual at Chico State University in Chico, California. In the cold basement of the fraternity house of the unrecognized fraternity Chi Tau (XT), formerly Delta Sigma Phi, Carrington was forced to drink water and do calisthenics with fans blowing on him. This water intoxication ritual, which dates back over 20 years at Chi Tau, caused swelling of his brain, seizures, and heart failure. Members of the fraternity delayed calling for emergency help for over an hour.

Hazing death
21-year old Matthew Carrington transferred to Chico State in fall 2004 from Diablo Valley College. He was studying management information systems, and was asked to pledge Chi Tau by friend Mike Quintana. The two men began pledging that fall.

Toward the end of the pledge process, Carrington indicated to friends that he was tired of pledging and his grades were beginning to suffer from it. Chi Tau forced the pledges to spend the final week, known by the fraternity as "Initiation Week," or more commonly by the pledges as "hell week", in the basement of the fraternity house. The 10 foot by 20 foot basement room was a cold, damp place littered with cigarette butts and writing on the walls, including the phrase "In the basement, no one can hear you scream."

The Kendall (Administration) Hall
of Chico State University
Pic by Wiki user Boricuaeddie
Day one
The week of living in the basement began on January 30, 2005. On that same day, the sewer line in the house had burst, and the basement was flooded with several inches of sewage contaminated water. Pledges were forced to do push-ups and sit-ups in the sewage and sleep in small cubby holes that had been cut into the basement wall.

Day two

"Pledge Olympics" got underway around 11 pm. Pledges were forced to run up and down the stairs and play Wiffleball inside the house. Due to extremely cold conditions, they were allowed to sleep in the main portion of the house instead of the basement.

Day threeThe events of Tuesday, February 1 would last into the early hours of Wednesday morning. Carrington and Quintana were instructed to stand on one foot on a wooden bench, wearing only t-shirts, jeans, and socks, while Chi Tau members quizzed them on fraternity history. If an incorrect answer was given, they were told to drink as much water as possible from a five-gallon Alhambra bottle or do push-ups on the floor. Cold water was also poured on them while being blasted by fans. They had to ask permission to urinate on themselves and were eventually told to take their shirts off with basement temperatures in the 30s. Near 2 a.m., active Chi Tau members, Gabriel Maestretti, John Paul Fickes and Carlos James DeVilla Abrille, arrived at the house after a night of heavy drinking. Maestretti passed out on a couch in the basement, and at around 2:30 am, the pledges, already in poor condition, were told they were done. However, Maestretti woke up and decided he would take over the initiation event instead of allowing the pledges to leave the basement or sleep. Fickes and Abrille joined in on the events that would follow. They ignored other members of the fraternity who came down to the basement on two occasions and told the three to stop. At one point Carrington dropped the five-gallon bottle and spilled water on one of the three actives. He was forced to do more push-ups as punishment.

Carrington collapsed around 3:40 a.m. and went into a seizure that lasted nearly one minute. Chi Tau members changed Carrington out of his wet clothing and laid him on the couch after wrapping him in a sleeping bag. Quintana noticed that Carrington had stopped breathing around 5 am. He performed CPR on Carrington until paramedics arrived and transported him to Enloe Medical Center, where he died soon after arrival. The official cause of death was cardiac dysrhythmia and cerebral edema, or brain-swelling, due to water intoxication. Hypothermia also contributed to the death.

As a result of this incident, Matt's Law was passed in California.  The law allows for felony prosecutions when serious injuries or deaths result from hazing rites. The bill amended the California Education Code and California Penal Code to change charges for some hazing rituals from misdemeanors to felonies, and for the first time gave prosecutors the ability to seek hazing charges against nonstudents.


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