Police investigating hazing allegations at College at Brockport
Brockport, N.Y. - Criminal charges are now pending as police investigate hazing allegations at the College at Brockport.
Police said at least one person sent a complaint to the college, and that led them to a possible victim of hazing.
They won't disclose the statements that led to this investigation. However, they believe there could be more victims out there.
Campus police, Brockport Police and Monroe County Sheriff's deputies detained more than a dozen people from an off-campus home on Monroe Avenue after serving a search warrant there. More than a dozen students were questioned.
"Allegations involving drug use, drug sale, etc. that goes on at that location," said Lt. Mark Cuzzupoli of Brockport Police Department. "So that's why we were there."
"I was coming home, and it was crazy," said Mariah Clark, a student who lives on the same road as the frat house. "There was so many cop cars. I thought someone was hurt or, like, worse. Definitely kind of scary. Eye-opening, I guess."
Investigators collected wooden paddles, tables and other items from the home as evidence. It follows a months-long joint investigation between police and the college into allegations of hazing against a group called "the Delts."
"We found somethings in the house that we were looking for," said Daniel Vasile, chief of the College at Brockport Campus Police. "Can't really elaborate what they are because they're evidentiary in nature."
One of the members of the group, who didn't want his name mentioned, said, "They were searching for a lot of things...and a lot of this stuff hasn't been in the house, nor was in the house during the search."
He showed 13WHAM the search warrant, which detailed police were looking for drugs and hazing evidence.
"As far as hazing allegations go, I feel like an arrest would have been made if any of those warranted any truth," said the frat member. "And there were no arrests made."
The college said the group posed as a fraternity, even though the Zeta Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi National Fraternity was revoked by the National Fraternity’s Grand Council and closed by The College at Brockport in 2001.
"We still have a right like anyone else to associate as a group of people," the member explained. "Just because you don't agree with what we're doing, doesn't mean that you can't do it."
In a statement, the college said it has tried to discourage this kind of behavior. "We regularly educate and warn students and their parents of the dangers associated with such unrecognized groups and will continue to do so. We have zero tolerance for this group’s behavior." Investigators would not elaborate on the nature of the allegations, but say charges are possible," the statement read.
"With everything going on in the world right now with hazing, we take it very seriously here at the college," said Vasile. "For the ones that continue to operate like this - this sets a precedent that we will not tolerate it here at the College at Brockport. We're not going to tolerate anything that's going to be concerning to student safety."
Police said they've had concerns about this group for years, visiting the address half a dozen times this year alone for loud noise. Some calls resulted in arrests.
Brockport Police said arrests are likely within the week.