After Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza died after falling while intoxicated because of hazing ritual at a fraternity party in February, 18 members of Beta Theta Pi were charged, including eight counts of involuntary manslaughter. Now Piazza’s family has done high-profile interviews to raise awareness of the case.
Speaking on a Monday appearance on Today, Jim Piazza described the abuse his son received — including the series of events where Timothy fell down a flight of stairs, and no one called 911 for nearly 12 hours — as “horrific.”
“This wasn’t boys being boys. This was men who intended to force-feed lethal amounts of alcohol into other young men. And what happened throughout the night was just careless disregard for human life. They basically treated our son as roadkill and a rag doll,” he told Matt Lauer.
The family said that have not yet seen surveillance video footage that captured Timothy’s fall and attempts to leave the frat house as well as fraternity members placing him on a couch and attempting to wake him. Jim Piazza said that he didn’t want his final memories of his son to be “[Timothy] being abused for 12 hours and dying a slow and painful death.”
According to the Piazza’s parents, their son’s doctor informed them that had he been brought to the emergency room sooner, he might have survived.
A preliminary hearing for the fraternity members charged is set for June.
In an appearance on CNN, the elder Piazza used stronger language, saying the fraternity boys’ actions before finally calling an ambulance “criminal activity” that amounted to a cover up. You can watch that interview below.