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Delts dealt justice

by Lou Venditti - News Editor
Tue, Jan 30th 2018 10:25 pm

The arrests have been made in the hazing case that rocked the College at Brockport to end the fall semester. Nine people, six of which were students at the college, were charged with a variety of charges, ranging from hazing to animal cruelty. The charges are the result of a months long investigation between the Brockport Police Department and University Police which culminated in a raid on the alleged frat house on November 29, 2017.

The group of students, organized under the name “the Delts,” had been operating as an unrecognized fraternity since 2001. Once a charter of the Sigma Phi Delta national fraternity, the college and national organization decided in 2001 to revoke the official status of the group due to a history of high risk behavior.

Of the nine people charged, six were students at the college. Nickolas Antonio Buffa, Jacob Benjamen Manolt, Jacob William Parker, Leon Woon Keul Chai, Connor Brett Reed and Brian Christopher Halpin were the students charged, while Andrew William Peterson, Mussey Tesfai Tella and Tyler Francis Ryan were the non students. Eight of the nine individuals appeared in court on Friday December 9, and all eight plead not guilty. Chai requested an adjournment.

Court documents released described the terror within the Delt house. Rats were mangled and tortured to death by the pledgemaster in front of pledges, and pledges were encouraged to drink copious amounts of alcohol. In one instance, a dying rat was passed around the pledges “with the intent to inflict as much fear as possible,” per court documents obtained by the Democrat and Chronicle. Of the nine arrested, Buffa and Chai were the only two charged with torture, injury or not feeding an animal. Peterson and Parker were both charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree in regards to alcohol.

All nine arrested were charged with hazing in the first degree and everyone aside from Buffa were charged with criminal nuisance in the second degree. The charges were based on a number of complaints, including two protected witness statements given to University Police. An order of protection for the students was made at the arraignment.

Some members received additional charges. Reed was charged with the criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Chai, Tella and Peterson were all charged with assault in the third degree and intent to cause physical injury.

With all nine of the Delts pleading not guilty, they will return to court and face the charges against them.

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