SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Syracuse University pledge may lose four fingers after being forced to crawl in the snow and perform late-night pushups, and two fraternity members face charges for the hazing stunt.
Three young men pledging the Nu Alpha Phi fraternity were taken to a city park around midnight Saturday and made to do exercises wearing hooded sweatshirts and no gloves for “failing to perform their daily duties,” according to Syracuse police.
After about 30 minutes, the pledges were given hand warmers and told to walk back to the frat house, according to police.
One of the pledges, an unidentified 20-year-old, experienced extreme pain in his hands and sought treatment Sunday at a hospital.
“He ran his hands under warm water, but his hands were still extremely painful,” police said in a release.
Doctors told him he may lose his ring and pinkie fingers on both hands because of severe frostbite. Syracuse police Lt. Eric Carr said the unidentified victim will have an appointment Thursday or Friday to check the condition of his fingers.
“Obviously he’s concerned because this could be a life-altering injury,” Carr said.
Police on Wednesday arrested frat members Tae Kim, 19, and Jeffrey Yam, 21, and charged them with first-degree hazing, a misdemeanor. They were released and will appear in court March 18.
It could not immediately be determined if the two men had lawyers.
Syracuse University has suspended Nu Alpha Phi, which is described on its website as an Asian-interest fraternity with seven chapters at New York colleges and one in New Jersey.
“The university has zero tolerance for any form of hazing and takes this matter extremely seriously,” the school said in a statement.
Police said the two other pledges refused to participate with the investigation. One of the other pledges had swollen hands and blistering, Carr said.