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Penn State student received 18 drinks in 82 minutes before his death, say prosecutors

Bonding over alcohol with members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State allegedly led to the tragic death of Timothy Piazza, a new evidence revealed. The February 2017 incident will now be treated as a case of involuntary manslaughter to aggravated assault and hazing. The sudden turn of events happened after recovery of a new video showing fraternity members continually serving immoderate quantities of alcohol to the 19-year-old sophomore.

Fresh charges were filed against fraternity members on Nov. 13, 2017, on the basis of the evidence obtained from the surveillance footage recorded during the pledge event. “Piazza received at least 18 drinks in over 1 hour and 22 minutes, and he never once obtained any of those drinks for himself. Brothers, in the fraternity, were coming up to him and giving him those drinks,” said Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller at a press conference.

FBI agents restored video from the deleted hard drive

During the investigation, law enforcement authorities were made to believe that the cameras installed in the basement were not working on that fateful night. However, detailed examination of one of the DVR surveillance boxes revealed that the footage captured by the basement videos was manhandled and deleted just before the State College Police (SCP) had demanded possession of the recording equipment. The SCP then mailed the box to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), whose agents managed to restore the video from the deleted hard drive.

Prosecutors then leveled charges against 12 members of the fraternity, in addition to five already apprehended. The newly found evidence has now escalated the case from an accident to a full-fledged incident resulting from unjustified reckless conduct. The earlier footage had revealed how Piazza, in an inebriated state, had fallen down the stairs at 11 pm and then again at around five in the morning. During this period, the fraternity members allegedly exhibited extreme negligence by slapping him several times in the face and stomach before calling an ambulance. Piazza succumbed to tragic injuries in his brain and a ruptured spleen.

Prevalence of drinking among college students

Many young students in the United States have lost their life to the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Drinking culture is common in colleges and universities across the country with most students believing it to be an essential rite of passage to adulthood. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), every year, roughly 1,825 college students aged 18-24 years succumb to unintentional injuries resulting from excessive drinking. Besides, nearly 696,000 students in the same age group are assaulted every year by one of their college friends who has been drinking.

In fact, drinking is a common problem among all age groups. The NIAAA reveals that 86.4 percent of Americans aged 18 years and above reported to have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives. The problem of dependence on illicit substances, especially alcohol, among college students is a big problem. Unfortunately, there are no strict regulations against purchase of alcohol by college students and young adults.

Recovery road map

Alcohol addiction can be treated with timely medical interventions. One should seek an expert help to get rid of addiction to harmful substances like alcohol. If you or your loved one is suffering from alcoholism, get in touch with experts from the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for necessary information about recovery options available at leading alcohol abuse treatment centers in the U.S. For more information about alcohol addiction treatment options in your vicinity, call our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat with one of our online representatives.

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