NewsCovering Louisiana


UPDATE: LSU student arrested in fraternity hazing incident

Posted at 12:51 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 13:51:05-05

LSU Police have arrested a member of an LSU fraternity in a hazing investigation.

Terry Pat Reynolds II, 21, was booked with felony criminal hazing, felony failure to seek assistance and misdemeanor criminal hazing.

His fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, was suspended when the investigation began.

Here's the university's statement as of today:
“LSU Police have conducted a thorough investigation into the activities of Phi Kappa Psi, and today a member of the fraternity, Terry Pat Reynolds II, was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for Criminal Hazing (Felony and Misdemeanor) and Failure to Seek Assistance. The university has stated on multiple occasions that hazing will not be tolerated and the university acts swiftly when any hazing allegations are brought forth. Now that the LSU Police investigation has led to an arrest, the university’s office of Student Advocacy & Accountability will also conduct an investigation regarding any possible Code of Student Conduct violations.”

According to the warrant for Reynolds' arrest, police were called to a Baton Rouge hospital at about 3 a.m. on October 19 when a student was dropped off by members of the fraternity. The student had a 60 percent oxygen level (above 95 is normal) and a temperature of 93 degrees, and had a pink froth coming from his mouth, which, according to the warrant, is indicative of organ failure. The hospital staff also told police that the oxygen level and the temperature of the young man were both considered "critical."

The young man's blood alcohol level was six times the legal limit. He was admitted to ICU so that medical staff could attempt to stabilize him, the warrant states.

Reynolds is accused of being head of the fraternity's "new member educator." He invited the new members of the frat - of which the victim was one - to his off-campus home on the night of October 18, the warrant alleges. He then gave the new members bottles of alcohol, and told them they weren't allowed to leave until they had consumed all of it, the warrant alleges.

The warrant alleges that Reynolds communicated with the group of pledges via a message app, and includes some of the messages. One includes a slang version of the n-word, referring to the pledges. Another says that 10 of the pledges are "blackout" and will need someone to come get them and take them home. A person who wasn't at the event was the one who made sure the victim was taken to a hospital, the warrant alleges.

After Reynolds found out he was taken to the hospital, he sent threatening messages to the pledges, the warrant alleges, adding that it was "open season" and reminding them that they had four weeks of pledging left.

When officers searched Reynold's home they allegedly found liquor bottles in every room of the house, as well as trash bags full of liquor bottles inside and outside, and "multiple areas of fresh vomit" around the house outside.

Officers allege in the warrant that 12 pledges were forced to drink alcohol, leading to the misdemeanor hazing charge, and one was hospitalized, leading to the felony hazing charge.

Last month when the investigation came to light, we learned that East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III's office was informed of an LSU police department investigation into a potential hazing incident that led to a student's hospitalization. At that time, Moore said officials were collecting evidence to determine whether or not the incident meets the criminal definition of hazing that was enacted following the death of LSU freshman Max Gruver in 2017. The law redefines criminal hazing and created harsher penalties for those found guilty of the offense.

At that time, Moore said the situation looks "unbelievably similar" to the Gruver case. His full statement is below, courtesy WBRZ:

My office was informed by LSU PD about a potential hazing incident that led to an LSU student being hospitalized. The LSU PD is interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence to determine if there are any criminal violations or violations of the new hazing statute. In speaking with the LSU PD detectives, the case looks extremely similar in many aspects to the Gruver case, with the exception that there is not a death. At this point, it appears everybody who has been requested to be questioned has been cooperative. The incident in question occurred Sunday night into Monday morning.

Our media partners at The Advocate reported at that time that the victim headed to a young woman's apartment after a gathering of Phi Kappa Psi. He was allegedly planning to spend the night there, but was later hospitalized.

Several hours after the male was hospitalized, the female LSU student was found dead inside her apartment. The coroner's office confirmed on Tuesday that her death has been ruled a suicide. Family members are now seeking answers from the university and are hoping the police investigation will provide more information.

Read more from The Advocate here.

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