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Police investigate Duke hazing accusation

Posted May 23, 2008
Updated May 24, 2008

— City and university police are investigating accusations that a Duke University student needed hospital care after a hazing incident during a fraternity event in April.

Student Daniel Klufas, of Easton, Conn., and his family have hired a lawyer and private investigator since the incident.

Klufas said brothers in Alpha Delta Phi, the fraternity he was pledging, made him take off his clothes while they  threw cold water on him, according to attorney, Stephan E. Seeger of Stamford, Conn.

“Somebody decides they are going to fix his shivering by pouring warm water on him. The warm water sends him into uncontrollable shivering and shock,” Seeger said.

Seeger said the combination of cold water followed by warm water meant Klufas had to be taken to the hospital.

“The behavior the evening of the hazing is at minimum … reckless behavior that caused life-threatening injuries to my client,” Seeger said.

Seeger said that when Klufas tried to report the incident to Durham Police, officers told Klufas he stood to be arrested as well because a state statute says that anyone who engages in hazing can be charged.

“My guy is the victim of hazing. He didn’t haze himself,” Seeger said.

A Duke spokesman said the university can’t comment on these types of situations due to federal law. In general, if a hazing complaint is filed, the university investigates and determines if students should be punished.

Duke has a policy against hazing, with the maximum penalty being expulsion.

The national Alpha Delta Phi Web site lists a chapter at Duke University, but that chapter is not listed on the university’s Web site as an affiliated fraternity.

Klufas’ family is sending private investigator Vito Colucci to North Carolina to look into the incident.

“People need to be held accountable for this, and that’s what we are trying to do,” Colucci said.


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  • Viewer May 26, 2008

    When I was his age the US Army made things very uncomfortable /unpleasant for me and a few million others. If he were my son, I would remain very quiet. It seems his family is trying to punish him, by publicly pointing out his inadequacy. I assume he has dropped out of Duke so that he may have some sort of social life for the remainder of his college time.

  • cinnamon May 23, 2008

    Not at Duke!!!

  • truthwchz May 23, 2008

    Right on Hmmmmmm, you said it. He decided to pledge and guess what???? Frats are going to make you do some messed-up, childish, humiliating stuff to join. I guarantee you he pledged, didn't get accepted, so now he's all mad. They poured some water on him, boohoo for you. Dude some people have real problems.

  • djofraleigh May 23, 2008

    My solution is simple -- ban faternities as elitist and unnecessary - then expel the student for taking off his clothes and participation in the hazing from his side, and expel the other members who participated as well.

    Drinking plays a key role in this kind of thing and someone, somehow has to stop the excessive drinking.

  • Hmmmmmm May 23, 2008

    MAN UP

  • FloydTurbo May 23, 2008

    uh oh ..... they're "bringing in Vito Colucci". That can't be good for DPD.

    You can't make up this stuff ....

  • dmccall May 23, 2008

    The concept of "hazing" has gotten completely out of hand. While no pledge should be put in a position that jeopardizes their health or progress in education, team-building activities common in many office settings are now illegal...if they occur with a fraternity. If someone gets hurt in a trust fall office ropes course, is it "hazing"? If they do it on a fraternity outing, it is. The hyperoversite of the fraternities has gotten so bad that national fraternities frown against having pledges vacuum the house or clean the bathrooms.

    Let's quit going overboard on anti-"hazing"

  • colliedave May 23, 2008

    Why did he take off his clothes in the first place: he could of walked away? How drunk was he?

  • bkahuna May 23, 2008

    Every fraternity hazes. Everyone should know this by the year 2008. If you can't handle it, don't pledge! Some people just go out looking for trouble and something to sue over!