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Family Of Freshman Left Permanently Blind And Unable To Talk Or Walk Speak Out On Dangers Of Hazing

Daniel Santulli suffered from blindness and lost his ability to speak during the October 2021 hazing incident.

Daniel Santulli

The relatives of a college freshman who was nearly killed in a hazing incident raised awareness of the risks associated with the activity.

In October 2021, Daniel Santulli, then just 19 years old, was discovered at University Hospital suffering from alcohol intoxication and going into cardiac arrest while inside an automobile.

Although Daniel made it through the incident unscathed, he was left blind and unable to move or talk.

Hazing was the cause of the incident.

This is an unofficial fraternity and sorority initiation rite for college students, and it frequently involves dangerous, dehumanizing, and offensive behaviors.

'Hazing' also usually involves drinking alcohol in risky amounts.

Hazing is now a potential criminal offense in fifteen states in the US, yet it's still common on many college campuses.

After being coerced into drinking a full bottle of vodka during a hazing at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, Daniel developed severe alcohol poisoning.

His family has now spoken out about the dangers of hazing.



 

Daniel's mom Mary Pat Santulli told ABC: "Danny was always a good kid. He was content. He was."

His brother Nick recalled seeing Daniel in the hospital, saying: "I saw Danny in the medical ICU at the hospital at Mizzou. And it's just -- it's just a bunch of tubes everywhere.

"And that's an image that will probably never leave my head."

Some 'pledges' were being escorted downstairs while blindfolded, according to surveillance footage captured inside the fraternity home on October 19, 2021, shortly after 9 p.m.

David Bianchi, the family's lawyer, went over the events captured on camera.

He told Good Morning America: "We see one of the fraternity members putting a tube in Danny's mouth with a funnel at the other end and pouring beer down his throat while Danny is in the middle of consuming an entire bottle of vodka. That's on the video."

Bianchi continued: "They were given their family bottle of alcohol and then they drank from it and they took them upstairs and for the next two hours, they drank and drink and drink."

His mom said: "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."

She told ABC: "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."

When asked if he believes Daniel was hazed, his father said "oh 100 percent".

A former fraternity member entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor on May 10, 2024, in relation to accusations pertaining to Daniel's injuries.