The student, Alexander Broughton, arrived at University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room in Knoxville reportedly unresponsive around 1:30 a.m. early Saturday morning Knoxville Police said, Knoxville News
Broughton was reported to have had a blood-alcohol level “well over” 0.40 percent –– five times the level of legal intoxication –– when several young men brought him to the hospital, according to WREG
news in Memphis.
At first, hospital staff treating the 20-year-old student told Knoxville Police investigators that Broughton appeared to be “extremely intoxicated and showed signs of physical and possible sexual assault,” the UTPD incident report said, according to Knoxville News
But investigators determined Broughton had allegedly received an "alcohol enema" from fellow fraternity members, known as 'butt chugging', at the Pike house. Broughton later was transferred to the hospital’s critical care unit.
Other possible "butt chuggers" found
Knoxville Police Department investigators went to campus Saturday morning and found several other people, including three men, passed out at the Pi Kappa Alpha house.
Officers also found “bags from wine boxes, some empty and some partially empty, strewn across the halls and rooms.”
After conducting several interviews, investigators determined other students at the Pike house had engaged in a similar form of alcohol consumption.
"Upon extensive questioning it is believed that members of the fraternity were using rubber tubing inserted into their rectums as a conduit for alcohol as the abundance of capillaries and blood vessels present greatly heightens the level and speed of the alcohol entering the blood stream as it bypasses the filtering by the liver," according to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk.
UTPD is leading an investigation into the incident. Knoxville police are assisting as needed, DeBusk said.
Investigators are working to determine if Broughton was assaulted or made the decision to engage in the behavior himself.
No criminal charges have been filed, although UTPD officers issued a number of citations early Saturday to young men at the fraternity, according to police records.
Student's father: He's medically fine
Broughton, a graduate of Christian Brothers High School, was released from the hospital on Sunday and back on UT's campus, according to Mark Broughton, the father of the student.
"He's in school. He's in class," Broughton told The Memphis Commercial Appeal
by telephone Tuesday morning. "He was released Sunday afternoon. Cleared medically. He's medically fine."
He said the family is working with the fraternity "to get our side of the story" told.
But the elder Broughton said he did not place blame on the fraternity.
"I teach my son to take responsibility for his own actions," he said.
UT’s Pi Kappa Alpha suspended
While police investigate the alleged violations to fraternity and university policies, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the International Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on Monday administratively suspended UT’s Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) chapter, Tennessee's WREG-TV
The suspension will last for 30 days, pending a decision regarding its permanent status, according to a statement from UT spokeswoman Karen Ann Simsen. This means the fraternity cannot operate during this time.
According to KSN-TV
, the university released the following statement about the incident:
"University officials are currently conducting an investigation into allegations involving the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter and incidents that occurred over the weekend. Due to the gravity of the allegations, interim sanctions have already been imposed upon the chapter and will remain in effect until the investigation is concluded and final reports are available."
Pi Kappa Alpha International also released a statement Monday afternoon, the station reported:
"The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity was made aware of an alleged incident involving individual members of the Zeta Chapter at the University of Tennessee that occurred early Saturday morning.
"Following notification of these troublesome allegations, the Zeta Chapter was placed on immediate administrative suspension by the International Fraternity.
"The Fraternity has been in contact with the chapter leaders, local alumni, and the university and has requested all members cooperate fully with the ongoing police investigation.
"The International Fraternity in no way condones this behavior and while this is disappointing and saddening to have learned of the inexcusable actions of these students, our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families during this difficult time."
This isn’t the first time that UT’s Pike chapter has run into trouble. In 2008, the fraternity’s UT chapter was placed on administrative suspension for two weeks after three pledges developed staph infections following a January 2008 hazing incident, Knoxville's WATE
.com reported at the time.
The pledges were hospitalized after being made to allegedly do push-ups on a bathroom floor strewn with broken glass.