Penn State Student Death 2022
Pennsylvania State University, located in State College, is the state’s land-grant institution. It is the fifth-largest college in the country and offers a wide range of academic programs on its six main campuses in Hershey, Erie, Harrisburg and University Park as well as in its Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle. It has a large number of graduate programs and is a top producer of PhDs in several fields.
Timothy Piazza and Beta Theta Pi Fraternity
In October 2017, Tim Piazza, a student at Penn State, fell down a staircase in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house during initiation of new members. He was left unresponsive and died. The day after his death, a grand jury in the District Attorney’s office issued a statement saying that “Piazza’s death is a tragic loss of life for the students of Penn State, for the families and for the community.”
It was alleged that Piazza was forced through hours of hazing before being served alcohol in his pledge class. It also alleged that some members of the frat failed to call for help, even after Piazza’s body was found on the floor, in an apparent attempt to cover up their actions.
During the course of the investigation, the district attorney’s office reviewed video evidence that had been deleted from a basement camera, and it uncovered a number of incriminating videos that allegedly showed the frat boys hazing Piazza. Charges were then filed against a dozen frat brothers, including two brothers who are charged with felony aggravated assault and another who is facing charges of misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter.
The other 13 frat brothers are accused of a variety of crimes, including hazing and furnishing alcohol to minors. They are also accused of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice.
Timothy Piazza’s family and their attorney have been preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the fraternity, members of the frat and Penn State, alleging that the university and its staff were negligent in failing to act when they saw signs that hazing was occurring. The plaintiffs are aiming to obtain punitive damages and a monetary award for emotional pain and suffering.
Hulu is developing a series about the Timothy Piazza case
In February, The Daily Collegian published an extensive article that focused on the events surrounding Piazza’s death. It included interviews with members of his family and his friends as well as an examination of the details of what happened that night.
There have been over 19,000 tips received by the State College police and the Centre County Coroner’s Office as part of its investigation into Piazza’s death, and the department has interviewed hundreds of people. In addition, the FBI has been involved in the case.
The obituary for Piazza, who died at the age of 21, lists his interests as playing Rock Band with his friends and being an avid car buff. He is also remembered for his love of dogs and baseball.