November 11th, 2011
07:34 PM ET

Police: Fraternity pledge severely injured in paddling; 9 arrested

Nine South Carolina college fraternity members were arrested this week on hazing charges, accused of beating and severely injuring a pledge with a paddle, authorities said.

The victim, a Francis Marion University student who was pledging Phi Beta Sigma, was paddled at an off-campus residence on October 23 “to such an extent as to have resulted in serious bodily injury” requiring hospitalization, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

CNN affiliate WBTW, citing investigators, reported that the victim suffered temporary injuries to his kidneys.

Florence County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Nunn told CNN that his office wasn’t releasing details of the student’s injuries, but he said the student had “an extended hospital stay.”

The suspects - three Francis Marion students and six alumni, according to WBTW - were charged with hazing, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to a year in jail.

The suspects appeared before a Florence County magistrate and have been released on $5,000 personal recognizance bonds, the sheriff’s office said.

“The arrest warrants allege that the suspects, each individually and collectively, committed the hazing by intentionally inflicting physical harm upon the victim in order for the victim to gain admission to the fraternity,” the sheriff’s office release said.

Nunn said the hospital treating the injured student contacted the sheriff’s office, triggering the office’s investigation.

Jimmy Hammock, international president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., said the fraternity’s headquarters has suspended the Francis Marion chapter.

“Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. takes any form of reported hazing very seriously,” Hammock said. “Hazing has not and does not represent the tradition and principles of the 97-year history of our fraternity.

“Specifically pertaining to the unfortunate injury of the Francis Marion student, the fraternity has and will continue to work closely with the campus officials and the local police concerning this situation.”

The university did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

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Filed under: Crime • South Carolina
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    Is the snow still on the ground up there? It has been 60-70 degrees here and my rose bushes are blooming again. 1 bush had 20 new buds on it. Some nights have been in the 30's though.

    November 13, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Scottish Mama

    Do you have a concert in January you will be playing? Do you play the piano or the clarinet or both?

    November 13, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Scottish Mama

    I know you have not used the family name on here. And I will not.

    November 13, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Scottish Mama:
    You know that I mean "money" when I say "doughnuts," don't you? I would never eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut. I ate two of them in San Francisco–is that possible?–well, two rich doughnuts there in 2003, in a coffee shop.
    I played clarinet in elementary school. I took up the oboe in 6th or 7th grade and was good at it–first oboe in all-state bands and invited to play in college band concerts: not many oboists in Mississippi then. I was 16 when my piano teacher made me stop playing the oboe. Now I can't make a sound on the oboe.

    November 13, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    "Time to make doughnuts" is from a Dunkin Donuts commercial...I say that every morning when I get up when I shuffle to the kitchen to make coffee.

    Good morning, Scottish Mama.
    Good morning, JIF. You're off a day earlier! I thought you said you didn't have a day off until Monday?
    In any case, rest and play the day away!

    November 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    Yes. Your memory for schedules is too good.
    I'm off today because I was in the hospital two days. I collapsed at a rehearsal Thursday night and left on a stretcher. It wasn't a heart attack.
    I would have been there through Monday (at least) if I had not complained and argued my way out.
    They're not sure of the whole picture of why, but I got doctors' lectures about stress and death.
    I'm home now.

    November 13, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    Omg! I hope you are okay!
    You're one of my very favorite people on here, and I would be greatly distressed if anything were to happen to you.
    If I had to guess, I'd say exhaustion; the schedule you keep if hectic, to say the least.
    You give too much.
    Please know you're in my thoughts, and be well soon.

    How much does your advanced age have to do with this?
    115 is such a volatile year for many...

    November 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    If ever in the future you would want to get in touch with me, you may do that via FB.
    I'm not hard to find.
    Guarding your privacy is an utmost concern for you, and I understand that.
    If, in the future, you ever change your mind, (or if you should ever leave your public life) you can reach me there.
    I am not on there often, but they do alert me.
    Just saying if you should, for any reason, need another friend...
    You know my name; I'm easy to find.

    I truly hope that whatever ails you is easily fixed.

    November 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    People brought things over to us today.
    I want to go back to the gym tomorrow, but in general I have to cut way back.
    I have some conditions that combined in a synergistic episode. I have to see a lot of specialists now.
    The doctors said there was no way that they could know a final answer by the time I left the hospital.
    Thank you for your concern. I just told what happened so you wouldn't think I lied about not being off until Monday.
    I'll be fine.

    November 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    PS: I wasn't drunk or high on drugs. That's usually what I think when I see that a performer collapses.
    Sometimes they're just overworked. I had two friends, both women, who collapsed on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, one walking off stage, another standing just off the set.
    No martinis involved!

    November 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bocat (in a hat)


    I just got on this thread, and I saw where you were in the hospital.
    Are you feeling better now ? From the you've been talking, it sounds like you've burning that proverbial candle at both ends. You need to slow down some. It seems it would be pretty hard to keep that pace at 115.
    Hope you recover soon my friend.

    November 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ bobcat (in a hat):
    Thank you.
    Yep, I was in the hospital. The emergency medical guys (EMT) came to tell me that they'd been really worried in the ambulance.
    Candle burning at more than two ends.
    "But oh my foes, and oh my friends,
    It gives a lovely light."
    I've had some angrily concerned phone calls from friends today. I have to let some things go, and I have lots of doctors to see.
    This is no fun at all.

    November 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bocat (in a hat)


    Well good luck with all your tests and doctors. That's always a drag.
    I'm sure they'll have you back to your "old" self soon. lol

    November 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Oh, I never thought you lied; I thought your schedule may have changed.
    Nor did I think anything about drugs or alcohol being involved.
    I thought that you may have pushed yourself too far, exhaustion, and all that.
    I sincerely hope you get the answers you need; I know this isn't pleasurable at *all*!
    I'm sorry you have to go through this.

    November 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I have stress, and I was exhausted. I am also a perfectionist. That's not enough to cause that collapse, though. There are several possibilities.
    I'll tell you when I know.
    @ Philip: I know your mind somewhat. I'm HIV negative.

    November 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
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