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

    @JIF- I have not been on since this morning before breakfast. I am sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Chill for a while if you can. If you are a perfectionist/over achiever I doubt if you can. Maybe this would be the time to learn to chill?
    No, I did not know what doughnuts meant. I thought you owned a bakery. lol

    November 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DP

    There are two distinct kinds of kidney injury that can result from a paddling. One is a hit to the kidney. The other is where extensive muscle injury elsewhere in the body creates a damaging workload on the kidneys.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Oh, wow, I would have *never* made that leap, but I can understand how you would someone else would.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Given the severity of the paddling, I would suspect that both are distinct possibilities.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Scottish Mama:
    I'm up in the middle of the night; my sleep schedule is on jet lag since the hospital stay. For some reason, all the messages from the days I was there with the Blackberry turned off just came through at this disturbing hour.
    No, I don't think I can stop being driven. At least one person told me today that the music doesn't have to be "that good," and that it would still be there long after I'm gone. One was a singer (beautiful Verdi soprano) who has had a fine career. She's not as kooky as I am about it.
    Well, now I'm going to miss some performances, and some folks won't get lessons.
    It's all right.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Hawaiian chilipepper

    young and dumb

    November 14, 2011 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Justen beiber

    Thank you sir. May I please have another

    November 14, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Scottish Mama

    @JIF- Glad to see you have resigned to the fact that some things are best left alone for awhile. Music will be there when you come back. Maybe with renewed respect? But untill you take care of yourself it may not come. Health first, family and then the joy of your music. Rest and be well and music will be there when you get back. Maybe going to performances and enjoying them would relax but not totally omit what you love?

    November 14, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. those were copy/pastes Scottish Mama

    Althought my apology wasn't really an apology. Anything with a qualifier "but" isn't really and apology at all but and excuse for my bad behavior. Call it never admitting one's mistakes if you will. I'm still not.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    I don't know who did the c/p, but I have a suspision I know who did.
    I would venture a guess it was someone who had wanted people to see what the (ahem) harsh words he was refering to in his (ahem) apology.
    It's water under the bridge.

    I agree with a post Peter the Great had posted, in which he said (I'm paraphrasing) "I'm not buying the book."

    November 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scottish Mama

    @Philip? Its like sorta kinda like I am not? Okay?

    November 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ma & pa

    @ Donna and raven and cindy...very well said.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ma & pa

    @ are valued for yourself. Please stay with us in this world.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ ma & pa:
    Thank you.
    I'm trying to stay. It's going to take some work.

    November 15, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. llbabe

    Hazing on college campuses has been a long term issue. At times the fraternities seem to lose focus on what the principles are. This needs to be on the fore front so people realize that hurting others is unacceptable.

    November 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
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