UPDATE: UVa Fraternity Hazing Investigation Moves Forward

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March 15, 2011


CBS19 has learned the investigation into a possible hazing incident at a University of Virginia fraternity is moving forward.

Court documents show University Police have obtained the transcript of the third-year student and Zeta Psi brother at the center of the investigation. The third-year allegedly consulted a medical packet from a pre-med course he was enrolled in before driving the seizing pledge to Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Police have also obtained the medical records for the 19-year-old first-year pledge who reportedly suffered a sodium overdose. The documents mean police are one step closer to filing charges against the individual or individuals who may have been involved in the alleged hazing incident.

CBS19 also spoke to the alleged victim's family. They say he is out of the hospital and doing well but did not want to comment any further at this time.


March 10, 2011

CBS19 has learned a University of Virginia student was hospitalized after drinking too much soy sauce during an alleged hazing ritual on March 1 at the Beta Chapter of Zeta Psi fraternity at UVa.

Search warrants show the 19-year-old student, a first-year pledge in the fraternity, consumed 12 to 18 ounces of soy sauce after eating dog food, matzo balls and Gefilte fish.

A fraternity brother told police the "meal" is a Zeta Psi tradition and that only pledges consumed the items. He was later found seizing upstairs in the fraternity house, located at 169 Rugby Road, and taken to Martha Jefferson Hospital by fellow students.

"One tablespoon of soy sauce contains almost half of your daily allotment for sodium," says David Mahoney, a doctor at Charlottesville Wellness Center. "Consuming an entire bottle of soy sauce could absolutely kill you."

The pledge was transferred to UVa Medical Center's intensive care ward a few hours later for treatment for an electrolyte imbalance.

A nurse told police that the student was seizing and foaming at the mouth when he was brought to the emergency room. He was released from inpatient care three days later on March 4.

A university spokeswoman would not confirm that it was a case of hazing but pointed out that hazing is a serious crime. Police are weighing whether to file charges in the incident.

Spokeswoman Carol Wood did not name the student involved. Here is the bulk of her statement sent to CBS19 after we asked her about the case:

"While it has not yet been determined whether this incident was related to hazing, hazing is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia and considered a serious criminal offense as well as a violation of University policy. If found guilty, students are subject to criminal penalties and also University judiciary processes that impose separate penalties, up to and including expulsion from the University. The University is cooperating fully with the on-going police investigation and has launched its own investigation of this incident."

Soy sauce has 900 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon and consuming large quantities can have an impact on a person's brain and kidneys.

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