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13 NIU Pike members surrender to police

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

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DeKALB – Thirteen of the 22 student fraternity members charged with hazing in connection with a 19-year-old pledge's death had turned themselves into authorities by 5 p.m. Tuesday, DeKalb police said.

Of the five Pi Kappa Alpha members charged with felonies, only pledge adviser Omar Salameh, 21, of DeKalb, had turned himself in to authorities by 5 p.m. Tuesday, DeKalb police Lt. Jason Leverton said.

Remaining at large were  Alexander M. Jandik, 21, of Naperville, the fraternity president; James P. Harvey, 21, of DeKalb, the fraternity vice president; Patrick W. Merrill, 19, of DeKalb, the fraternity secretary; and Steven A. Libert, 20, of Naperville, who allegedly planned the Nov. 1 party.

Leverton said officers would give those charged until the end of the week before reaching out to them again and eventually pursue them if needed.

"We didn't give them a hard and fast date," Leverton said. "I would imagine by the end of the week we'll probably reach out to them again and make sure they got the message. We're hopeful."

David Bogenberger, a 19-year-old freshman, was found dead Nov. 2 at the Pi Kappa Alpha house at 1020 W. Hillcrest Drive after a night of excessive drinking.

Hazing charges indicate the fraternity members allegedly provided underage pledges with alcohol and created a situation in which they “felt compelled to consume alcohol as part of membership initiation and the Greek parenting process,” officials said in a press release.

A toxicology report showed Bogenberger had a blood-alcohol content of 0.351 percent when he died. The legal limit to drive is 0.08 percent.

Peter Coladarci, the Bogenberger family attorney, said the family remains grateful for the diligence and professionalism of law enforcement officers. He said because the legal procedures are just beginning, there have been no talks regarding litigation against any of the parties including NIU.

"It's unsettled," he said. "No decisions have been made, and there are no serious discussions."

Libert's bond was set at $20,000, while the others charged with felonies have bonds of $15,000. The bond associated with the misdemeanor cases was $5,000, which requires posting $500 to be released while the case is pending.

The Class 4 felonies typically are punishable by probation or up to 3 years in prison, while the misdemeanors are punishable with probation or less than a year in jail.

Those charged, along with nine other students who attended the unregistered event, face university sanctions that could lead to expulsion.

The international fraternity suspended the local Eta Nu chapter.

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