22 Arrest Warrants Issued After Alleged Hazing Death at N. Illinois

Freshman David Bogenberger was found dead the morning of Nov. 2 at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house.

Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012  |  Updated 1:00 AM EDT
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Freshman David Bogenberger was found dead the morning of Nov. 2 at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house near the DeKalb campus. Christian Farr reports.

Freshman David Bogenberger was found dead the morning of Nov. 2 at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house near the DeKalb campus. Christian Farr reports.

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Arrest warrants were issued Monday for 22 people wanted in connection to the death of a Northern Illinois University freshman that authorities say was alcohol and hazing-related.

David Bogenberger was found dead the morning of Nov. 2 at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house near the DeKalb campus. Toxicology tests showed his blood-alcohol concentration was about five times the legal limit for driving.

The cause of death has been attributed to cardiac arrhythmia, with alcohol intoxication as a significant condition contributing to death, officials said.

Officials said arrest warrants were issued for five Pi Kappa Alpha leaders: fraternity president Alexander M. Jandik, 21, and event planner Steven A. Libert, 20, of Naperville, as well as fraternity vice president James P. Harvey, 21; fraternity pledge advisor Omar Salameh, 21; and fraternity secretary Patrick W. Merrill, 19, all of DeKalb;

The five men been charged with Class 4 felony Hazing.

Additionally, arrest warrants were issued for 17 fraternity members: Michael J. Phillip, Jr., 20, of Western Springs, IL; Thomas F. Costello, 20, of Munster; David R. Sailor, 20, of Princeton, IL; Alexander D. Renn, 19, of Naperville, Michael A. Marroquin, 20, of Roselle; Estevan A. Diaz, 22, of South Beloit, IL; 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; Nsenzi Salasini, 20, of Mt. Prospect; as well as Hazel A. Vergaralope, 21; Nicholas A. Sutor, 19; Nelson A. Irizarry, 19; Johnny P. Wallace, 20; Daniel S. Post, 20; and Russ Coyner, 21, all of DeKalb.

The fraternity members have been charged with providing alcohol to underage pledges and "creating a situation where the pledges felt compelled to consume alcohol as part of membership initiation and the Greek parenting process," officials from the DeKalb Police Department and the DeKalb County Coroner's Office said in a written statement.

Bogenberger's family, including his parents, Gary and Ruth Bogenberger, also issued a statement in which they said universities must do more to "stop the hazing and initiation rituals."

Their statement continues:

"No other family should endure what we are going through.  Yet, we are losing these talented, beautiful and hopeful young people because of illegal drinking unrestrained by maturity and exacerbated by social pressure.

"We are trying to understand the reality of our David’s death.  It is almost impossible for us to accept that David is gone at the age of 19; that our future does not include his excitement at learning and growing; becoming a man; marrying and having children; that these events will never happen.

"We appreciate the many condolences and kindnesses that have reached us.  We acknowledge and appreciate the diligence of the law enforcement professionals of DeKalb County who have investigated the circumstances of David’s death and who, with the steps taken today, seek accountability for a horrible event.

"But we also must acknowledge the concern we feel for the families of those charged today.  The events of Nov. 1 and 2 unalterably changed the course of too many lives.  And for what?
“We have no desire for revenge.  Rather, we hope that some significant change will come from David’s death.  Alcohol poisoning claims far too many young, healthy lives.  We must realize that young people can and do die in hazing rituals.  Alcohol-involved hazing and initiation must end." 

The fraternity has temporarily been removed as a recognized student organization. Additional sanctions could be taken against Pi Kappa Alpha and nearly three dozen of its members, campus officials said Monday.

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