Arrest reports claim LSU pledges were beaten, urinated on in hazing rituals

The reports detail alleged beatings and hazing rituals, including pledges being urinated on

9 fraternity brothers accused of heinous hazing acts

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Arrest reports released for nine LSU fraternity brothers document alleged beatings and hazing rituals that included pledges having to lie face down on a basketball court covered in broken glass while being urinated on.

Members of the fraternity are accused of kicking pledges with steel-toed boots, attempting to burn them with cigarettes, and forcing pledges to submerge themselves in an ice machine in their underwear, according to the reports.

Cade Duckworth, one of the nine arrested, allegedly urinated on pledges, according to his arrest report.

“The victim stated that after he was taken out of the ice machine, he was made to lay in the nearby basketball court. He stated that the basketball court had broken glass all over it, which he was made to lie on top of,” the arrest report states. “The victim stated that another pledge was made to lie on the court next to him, face down while they were both sprayed with a hose, had milk crates thrown at them, and were urinated on.”

Malcom McNiece was “known” to pour gasoline on pledges. In one instance, a pledge complained about having trouble seeing because gasoline had gotten into his eyes. The pledge was rushed to a shower to wash off.

9 fraternity brothers arrested in alleged hazing investigation

The reports also detail instances where pledges were forced to lie in a “planking” position while being forced to drink two 40-ounce beers duct-taped to their hands, unable to move or remove the bottles until the drinks were gone.

Other details in the reports talk of forcing pledges to stand in the shower, holding milk crates filled with ice and cayenne pepper or Tony Chachere’s above their heads, with cold water running from the shower, causing the ice to melt and the irritants to drip into the pledges’ eyes.

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard says the allegations involve the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, one of the oldest fraternities on campus.

Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house in Baton Rouge. (Source: WAFB)
Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house in Baton Rouge. (Source: WAFB)

That fraternity was recently shut down by its national chapter, which was in the process of investigating the allegations, Ballard said.

“We can confirm that nine members of the LSU chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, or DKE, have been arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for hazing-related activities that are alleged to have taken place in the fall of 2018. This type of behavior is unacceptable and at complete odds with what we expect from our students. It does not belong at LSU," said Jason Droddy, interim vice president for strategic communications. “This is a sad day for the university, but one that illustrates the cultural shift occurring at LSU. The quick action by the national DKE organization by revoking the chapter’s charter and the cooperation of several witnesses in this investigation demonstrate a growing recognition that hazing and other harmful activities cannot be tolerated. The LSU Police were dutifully informed of the incidents by the national organization and initiated the investigation, which concludes with today’s arrests.”

“We continue to seek the support of more alumni groups and national organizations to be actively involved in helping to change the culture and prevent this type of behavior from occurring in the future,” Droddy said.

Ballard released the names, ages, and charges of those under investigation:

Charles Eugene Brakenridge, 23, of Ferriday

  • Principal to criminal hazing (misdemeanor)
  • Criminal hazing - representative duty to report (misdemeanor)

Blake Andrew Chalin, 20, of Gretna

  • 3 counts of criminal hazing (misdemeanor)

Cade Rain Duckworth, 23, of Lafayette

  • 3 counts of criminal hazing (misdemeanor)
  • Attempted second degree battery (felony)
  • Second degree battery (felony)
  • False imprisonment (felony)
  • Duckworth was also arrested in November of 2017 on various drug charges following a shooting an apartment complex during an apparent armed robbery.   

Gaston Thomas Eymard, 23, of Kenner

  • Criminal hazing (misdemeanor)
  • Second degree battery (felony)

Shakti P. Gilotra, 22

  • Criminal hazing (misdemeanor)
  • Second degree battery (felony)

Joseph Dylan Harkrider, 19, of Zachary

  • Criminal hazing (misdemeanor)

Malcolm Richard McNiece, 23, of Baton Rouge

  • 4 counts of criminal hazing (misdemeanor)
  • Second degree battery (felony)

Alexander Joseph Rozas, 23, of Jennings

  • Principal to criminal hazing (misdemeanor)
  • Criminal hazing - representative duty to report (misdemeanor)

Garrett Joseph Sanders, 21, of Minden

  • Principal to criminal hazing (misdemeanor)
  • Criminal hazing - representative duty to report (misdemeanor)
EBR DA speaks out after 9 charged for hazing crimes at LSU
This morning my client complied with LSU Police and turned himself in for misdemeanor hazing charges. It is disappointing that he was not issued a summons, but instead was arrested, booked, and put on display for the media. It is also disappointing that so much information has already been released, particularly by the educational institution. At the end of the day, the individuals standing accused are students. They are young men. We should not jump to conclusions and we should not lump all of them together in the alleged charges.
Franz Borghardt, attorney for Joseph Harkrider

According to Ballard, Duckworth and McNiece are not current students at LSU this semester, the rest of the nine boys are. Duckworth was also not enrolled in Fall 2018. The university is investigating to determine any violations of the Code of Student Conduct. The students’ status and any sanctions from the university are part of their privacy records and thus are federally protected.

Thursday evening, the LSU Interfraternity Council released a statement about the alleged hazing incidents.

The LSU Interfraternity Council is deeply disappointed to hear the allegations of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity members. The Interfraternity Council strongly condemns any act of hazing or coercive behavior and will continue to work diligently to eradicate this behavior from our campus. We urge community members to not be a bystander in these types of situations and to contact the authorities or report online if they see or suspect any forms of hazing.

The Interfraternity Council has full faith in the LSU Police Department, as well as local authorities in determining the matters around these troubling events. Safety is central to an enriching student experience, and we must all work together to foster a culture change in our community. We are committed to being a part of the solution to the issues that our community faces and will continually strive to provide a safe and positive experience for all fraternity members at Louisiana State University.

In September of 2017, Maxwell Gruver, 18, died after an alleged hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity on LSU’s campus.

Ten individuals were arrested in connection with Gruver’s death on the charge of hazing. One individual was also charged with negligent homicide. Four of the ten were indicted in the case. Matthew Naquin, a former LSU student, was charged with negligent homicide.

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