New York Daily News: By Kate Feldman – Two University of Missouri-Columbia fraternity brothers have been indicted for allegedly supplying a freshman with vodka until he drank so much that he suffered a brain injury. He then spent days on a ventilator and is now unable to see, talk or walk.
Ryan Delanty and Thomas Shultz have been charged with felony hazing and misdemeanors of supplying liquor to a minor or intoxicated person in the hazing of 19-year-old Daniel Santulli, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday.
Santulli, a two-sport high school athlete, was rushing Phi Gamma Delta in the fall of 2021 and going through their pledging process, which included being “repeatedly ordered to clean the brothers’ rooms and bring food, alcohol and marijuana to them at all hours of the night,” according to a lawsuit filed by his family. Stressed, exhausted and on crutches after cutting his foot on glass when he was forced to climb into a trash can, Santulli was allegedly considering quitting the frat just days before the October 19 incident.
That night, Delanty handed Santulli a family-sized bottle of Tito’s vodka and told him to drink it while another frat brother, Alec Wetzler, poured beer into his mouth with a funnel and tube, according to the lawsuit.
By the end of the night, Santulli had a .468 blood alcohol level, six times the legal limit in Missouri.
Brothers drove Santulli to the hospital after he fell off the couch, pale-skinned and blue-lipped, and medical staff had to revive him and put him on a ventilator.
“Days later he was removed from the ventilator and started breathing on his own but he was unresponsive, unaware of his surroundings, unable to communicate and had a significant injury to his brain. He remains in that condition to this day,” reads the lawsuit, obtained by the Post-Dispatch.
Shultz, charged alongside Delanty, was the fraternity vice president and bought the vodka that night.
Wetzler was charged in June with misdemeanor counts of supplying alcohol to a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor.
“It’s as horrible as it could possibly be and (have him) still be alive,” Santulli’s family’s lawyer, David Bianchi, told the Post-Dispatch.
“It’s the worst fraternity hazing injury ever in the United States. We’ve been doing these cases for 30 years. I know the landscape of hazing. I know the defense lawyers who defend the fraternities. And everyone agrees this is the worst ever.”
Top Feature Photo: Danny Santulli – Obtained by Daily News