Family of student left permanently blind and unable to speak or walk issue urgent warning against hazing

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

The family of a student left paralyzed following a horror incident at his fraternity has issued an urgent warning against hazing.

Daniel Santulli was 19 when he suffered cardiac arrest after he was forced to drink a bottle of Tito’s vodka and force-fed beer through a tube at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house in October 2021, as reported by The Independent.

The University of Missouri student survived the horrific ordeal, which occurred during the “Pledge Dad Reveal Night," but was left permanently brain-damaged, and is unable to see, walk, or speak.

One of the students involved, Ryan P. Delanty, has pleaded guilty and is facing six months of jail time for the crime, according to the Daily Mail.

Daniel was forced to drink a bottle of Tito’s vodka and force-fed beer through a tube at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house. Credit: Wesley Hitt / Getty

According to the outlet, Daniel passed out on a sofa and began to turn blue after consuming alcohol, but nobody called 911.

When the frat members realized that he was seriously ill, they put him in a car to get him to the hospital. Unfortunately, by the time he got there, he stopped breathing for long enough to cause severe brain damage.

Police have disclosed that Daniel's blood alcohol content was 0.486, which is six times the legal limit. 

The incident is believed to be a result of hazing. Credit: Team Static / Getty

The incident is believed to be a result of "hazing," which according to Stophazing.org is "any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate".

Three components define the act. It can happen in a "group context," it can occur "regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate", and it is "humiliating, degrading, or endangering behavior," per the outlet.

Fifteen states in the US have made hazing a potential felony offense, but the practice is commonly associated with college fraternities.

Daniel's devastated family have now spoken out about how life-threatening hazing can be.

Watch the interview below:

During an interview with ABC, the student's father said that his son was "100 percent" hazed and his sister added: "It makes me sick to my stomach seeing the people involved that harmed Danny walking around campus, acting like they did nothing wrong."

"Missouri has what I would call a rather typical hazing statute. And the conduct that occurred that night at pledge dad reveal night is textbook hazing," David Bianchi, the family's attorney, said.

Daniel's mom Mary Pat Santulli also told the outlet: "Just the fact that they knew he was in distress and his lips were blue, and nobody called 911. It's, like, I don't know. I mean a 6-year-old calls 911."

The shocking incident occurred at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house. Credit: The Washington Post / Getty

After six weeks in the ICU, Daniel was moved to a rehab hospital in Colorado. He then moved back to Minnesota with his family where he will need continuous care.

"He'll need care for life. He's still not talking or walking. He's in a wheelchair. He lost his vision but he hears us, and he knows we're there and we'll just keep fighting, and we're not gonna give up hope," Mary said.

Featured image credit: Alvarez / Getty

Family of student left permanently blind and unable to speak or walk issue urgent warning against hazing

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

The family of a student left paralyzed following a horror incident at his fraternity has issued an urgent warning against hazing.

Daniel Santulli was 19 when he suffered cardiac arrest after he was forced to drink a bottle of Tito’s vodka and force-fed beer through a tube at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house in October 2021, as reported by The Independent.

The University of Missouri student survived the horrific ordeal, which occurred during the “Pledge Dad Reveal Night," but was left permanently brain-damaged, and is unable to see, walk, or speak.

One of the students involved, Ryan P. Delanty, has pleaded guilty and is facing six months of jail time for the crime, according to the Daily Mail.

Daniel was forced to drink a bottle of Tito’s vodka and force-fed beer through a tube at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house. Credit: Wesley Hitt / Getty

According to the outlet, Daniel passed out on a sofa and began to turn blue after consuming alcohol, but nobody called 911.

When the frat members realized that he was seriously ill, they put him in a car to get him to the hospital. Unfortunately, by the time he got there, he stopped breathing for long enough to cause severe brain damage.

Police have disclosed that Daniel's blood alcohol content was 0.486, which is six times the legal limit. 

The incident is believed to be a result of hazing. Credit: Team Static / Getty

The incident is believed to be a result of "hazing," which according to Stophazing.org is "any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate".

Three components define the act. It can happen in a "group context," it can occur "regardless of an individual’s willingness to participate", and it is "humiliating, degrading, or endangering behavior," per the outlet.

Fifteen states in the US have made hazing a potential felony offense, but the practice is commonly associated with college fraternities.

Daniel's devastated family have now spoken out about how life-threatening hazing can be.

Watch the interview below:

During an interview with ABC, the student's father said that his son was "100 percent" hazed and his sister added: "It makes me sick to my stomach seeing the people involved that harmed Danny walking around campus, acting like they did nothing wrong."

"Missouri has what I would call a rather typical hazing statute. And the conduct that occurred that night at pledge dad reveal night is textbook hazing," David Bianchi, the family's attorney, said.

Daniel's mom Mary Pat Santulli also told the outlet: "Just the fact that they knew he was in distress and his lips were blue, and nobody called 911. It's, like, I don't know. I mean a 6-year-old calls 911."

The shocking incident occurred at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house. Credit: The Washington Post / Getty

After six weeks in the ICU, Daniel was moved to a rehab hospital in Colorado. He then moved back to Minnesota with his family where he will need continuous care.

"He'll need care for life. He's still not talking or walking. He's in a wheelchair. He lost his vision but he hears us, and he knows we're there and we'll just keep fighting, and we're not gonna give up hope," Mary said.

Featured image credit: Alvarez / Getty