"NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Ten fraternity members at Tulane University face criminal charges in an alleged hazing incident in which pledges were repeatedly burned with hot water, cayenne pepper and vinegar, police said.
Two pledges were treated at a hospital for severe burns resulting from the April 25 incident at the Pi Kappa Alpha house, authorities said.
Seven students made their first appearance in court Wednesday and were released on their own recognizance, said Dalton Saywoir Jr., spokesman for the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office. It was unclear whether the three remaining students had been arrested or surrendered to police.
The arrested students range in age from 20 to 22. All 10 students face charges of aggravated second-degree battery, New Orleans and Tulane police said in a statement.
New Orleans attorney Frank D'Amico Jr., who represents one of the two pledges severely burned, said it happened at a "Hell Night" ritual involving the 10-member pledge class.
"What they were doing was burning the young men," he said. Fraternity brothers were said to have used boiling water containing pepper spray and a "crab boil" seasoning mixture containing cayenne pepper. The water was poured on the pledges' backs, he said.
"The ones who screamed first didn't get burned as badly," he said. But as the evening wore on and the water grew hotter and hotter, the ones who had not screamed were severely burned.
D'Amico said his client, who was attending Tulane on scholarship, suffered second- and third-degree burns to his back, chest, buttocks and genitals. He is "bandaged up," D'Amico said, and must have twice-daily burn treatments. The young man is unable to travel or take his exams and is attempting to negotiate with Tulane on postponing them, he said.
The young man is "obviously extremely traumatized," D'Amico said.
Tulane University has suspended the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter and will investigate the incident in accordance with its anti-hazing policy, school spokesman Michael Strecker said in a statement.
"The university has zero tolerance for any type of hazing or other incident which can potentially endanger the well-being of any student," the statement said. "Any fraternity member found to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct will be held accountable."
Tulane is also cooperating with police, Strecker said.
"Such actions are nothing short of reprehensible, and are completely contrary to the mission, vision and purpose of our fraternity, if true," the fraternity said in a statement issued from its headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee.
"These types of actions represent a betrayal of our core values and the trust that the men who were hurt by these events placed in their fellow students."
But it said, "these injuries appear to be the result of a few unauthorized, misguided individuals and not the entire chapter."
The arrested students did not comment as they were led into a police vehicle while handcuffed, according to video footage from CNN affiliate WWL.
Pi Kappa Alpha headquarters did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
D'Amico said he is pleased that Tulane and law enforcement have taken swift action on the matter.
His client's parents sent their son to Tulane thinking he would be safe, he added, "and they boil [the pledges] alive."
Please. Just because one frat went overboard in hazing hardly makes a college any worse. Not sure if you hold something against Tulane and as such are trying to look for any little bad thing against it, but come on now. This type of thing could happen - and I'm sure overboard hazing rituals *have* happened - anywhere. Don't see how it has anything to do with anyone who would want to go there, unless you're sole reason was to pledge this frat.
Going to Tulane does not mandate you join a frat, nor that you join a frat with such harsh hazing. Same thing could happen anywhere, and in no way reflects anything about the college - just the stupidity of some of a group of its students.
I wouldn't really blame the parents. At the age of 20, you honestly should be smart enough to know that boiling water/crab oil is going to burn... and burn bad. Unless the parents pressured their kids going greek, the fault lies at the feet of the frat and at the pledges. In my opinion, anyways.
Agree with Atlas. This is a frat stunt, not a college stunt, and it sounds like it is being addressed appropriately. Hazing is inappropriate at any facility. So is selling drugs out of a frat house as was being done in San Diego. One should be careful to separate their feelings about a specific school with the activities that occurred at a frat house.
Just chiming in...Tulane not on our radar....But, in defense of Tulane, SanDiego State and whatever other school is "the flavor of the day"...There are idiots at EVERY school; anyone who tells you differently is lying....that does not mean the school stinks.....
To the OP: every school my D applied to has had it's "issues"......you have not necessarily had a good experience at Tulane (aren't you tranferring?), but that doesn't mean that others will agree.....
The PIKE fraternity has been a problem for a long time. Many complaints have been brought to the administration regarding rape, powder rooms at their parties, and fraternity hazing problems. In fact, the TU student government brought these problems (and others) to the administration in 2006, but nothing was done. The article below (from the Times-Picayune) is a bit better than the one that initiated this thread:
it sounds like it is being addressed appropriately
These boys organized and carried out a torture session and were released on their own recognizance.
If inner city 18-year-olds or San Diego Junior College kids did something like this, they would be in jail now.
Too bad no one from the Tulane administration reads the collegeconfidential.com; it was posted in another thread on this Tulane forum on April 15 that Pi Kappa Alpha burns its pledges with crab oil and this event happened nine days later.
April 15 (from the Question about Tulane Frats thread)
Originally Posted by onlyatest
This is all alleged, I guess, because you can't know for sure... but apparently last year the Pike pledges got scalding hot crab oil poured on them,the Sammy pledges had to drink in a humid room until they threw up, and both frats tell their pledges to start fights and all with each other. I know AE Pi got in trouble when one of their pledges went to Tulane, but I don't know what they actually did.
Hazing is a stupid ritual. In colleges ALL OVER THE COUNTRY idiot ,immature fraternity kids keep doing it.
Yes, this is a very unfortunate incident. Yes, those guilty should be charged appropriately. But this does not diminish Tulane's reputation as an excellent University.
Jeremybeach: I am sorry you did not have a good experience at Tulane. But you should move on to your college of choice and stop bashing Tulane. UNLIKE YOU thousands of studens have a wonderful undergraduate experience at Tulane and go on to be successful professionals.
i disagree with the implications of your post beach. despite the short term effects on tulane's pr image, this is a great win for the university to finally have a good reason to boot pike off campus. i suspect graduation rates will increase several percentage points and the number of date-rapes in new orleans will plummet. really this is a win for everyone if you think about it. someone has finally stopped pike. they did a bunch of crap last year, including lighting a fire in sharp and having one of their pledges bite an unsuspecting female student on the ass, i'm glad to see that all of their bs has finally caught up with them.