13 NIU students accused of hazing surrender to authorities
Thirteen of the 22 Northern Illinois University students who are facing misdemeanor and felony hazing charges following the death of freshman David Bogenberger, 19, of Palatine have turned themselves in to authorities, a DeKalb police spokesman said Tuesday.
Police gave the students, who are leaders and members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, the opportunity to turn themselves in.
Bogenberger, who had pledged the fraternity, had more than five times the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he was found unresponsive on Nov. 2 in the fraternity house. Authorities believe Bogenberger was part of an unsanctioned initiation event Nov. 1 during which 19 pledges rotated between several stations in the frat house and consumed large quantities of liquor.
A DeKalb County coroner on Monday attributed the death to cardiac arrhythmia with alcohol intoxication a significant contributing condition.
Arrest warrants were issued for five fraternity leaders on felony charges, including chapter President Alexander M. Jandik, 21, and event planner Steven A. Libert, 20, both of Naperville. Other fraternity leaders charged are Vice President James P. Harvey, 21, of DeKalb; Pledge Adviser Omar Salameh, 21, of DeKalb; and Secretary Patrick W. Merrill, 19, of DeKalb.
Seventeen additional fraternity members who authorities say provided alcohol also have been charged with misdemeanor hazing. They are: Michael J. Phillip Jr., 20, of Western Springs; Thomas F. Costello, 20, of Munster, Ind.; David R. Sailor, 20, of Princeton; Alexander D. Renn, 19, of Naperville; Michael A. Marroquin, 20, of Roselle; Estevan A. Diaz, 22, of South Beloit; Hazel A. Vergaralope, 21, of DeKalb; Michael D. Pfest, 23, of Chicago; Andres Jiminez Jr., 19, of Glendale Heights; Isaiah Lott, 19, of Cupertino, Calif.; Andrew W. Bouleanu, 21, of Skokie; Nicholas A. Sutor, 19, of DeKalb; Nelson A. Irizarry, 19, of DeKalb; Johnny P. Wallace, 20, of DeKalb; Daniel S. Post, 20, of DeKalb; Nsenzi Salasini, 20, of Mount Prospect; and Russ Coyner, 21, of DeKalb.
Of those, Jandick, Salameh, Libert, Phillip Jr., Sailor, Renn, Marroquin, Vergaralope, Pfest, Irizarry, Wallace, Post, and Coyner turned themselves in to DeKalb police or other law enforcement agencies throughout the area, DeKalb police Lt. Jason Leverton said. Photos of those who turned themselves in to other agencies weren't immediately available from DeKalb police.
The accused students who turn themselves in this week will be in court for a preliminary hearing 9 a.m. Jan. 8, at the DeKalb County courthouse in Sycamore. The rest will be assigned court dates after they bond out, Leverton said.
Bail in the felony cases was set at $15,000, except for Libert's, which was $20,000. Bail in the misdemeanor cases was set at $5,000. The seven students who turned themselves in to police posted 10 percent as bond and were released.
"We probably won't do a double-check of everyone until Friday," Leverton said. "We received initial cooperation from the vast majority of these young men."
If any of the remaining accused have not surrendered by Monday, police will reach out to them and pick them up as necessary, Leverton said.
Justin Buck, vice president of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, issued a statement Tuesday. "The International Fraternity's thoughts and prayers remain with the family, friends, and all of those affected by this horrible tragedy," Buck said. "The International Fraternity maintains strict Standards with respect to alcohol and hazing and does not condone the activities which have been alleged. Furthermore, the Fraternity's Ritual and Initiation ceremonies do not nor have they ever involved alcohol or hazing."
Pi Kappa Alpha is a national sponsor of HazingPrevention.org.
According to the 144-year-old fraternity's standards, alcohol and drugs are not allowed in frat houses or during any chapter events. The rules emphasize "no chapter shall permit, tolerate, encourage or participate in 'drinking games' at a chapter-sponsored event."
Hazing of any kind is not allowed, and new members are required to sign "The Chapter Statement of Position on Hazing," according to the organization's website.
A spokesman for the Bogenberger family could not be reached for comment Tuesday.