AKRON, Ohio - The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Akron has been officially suspended after six of its members were accused of participating in a hazing ritual during what police have called an initiation program into the fraternity.
A 21-year-old pledge told university police he was paddled so badly he began to bleed over a period of three weeks in January.
The pledge told investigators that he was eventually admitted to the hospital where he was given antibiotics through an IV for an infection from his injuries.
University police on Thursday released a 33-page document detailing its invesigation in which the pledge is quoted as telling them the initiations happened at various homes off-campus.
Police reports show the pledge told them the chapter president "had to intervene two or three times because it was getting out of hand."
Police documents also reveal that the pledge told them, "Every night but Sunday they were being hazed, (paddled) immediately as the process began."
Investigators also spoke with the fraternity's president according to the documets.
He is quoted as confirming "that all active members of Alpha Phi Alpha signed a university non-hazing agreement. (he) explained that all organizations have to sign the agreement."
But according to university police documents. the fraternity's president also answered "yes sir" in agreement that pledges were being paddled for three weeks.
Investigators say he also admitted intervening in the activity stating "the reason he stopped the process when he was there was because of what happened to him. That's because "when he was pledging he took most of the (paddling)....he didnt want to see people go through that," according to police documents.
Nationally, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has published a lengthy anti-hazing policy.
It reads in part: "Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. strictly prohibits hazing in any form whether physical or mental as a term or condition of membership in the organization. Hazing is illegal and a crime in most jurisdictions."
It also states: "Anyone who participates in hazing an aspirant does not represent Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Instead, that person will be considered a criminal by the Fraternity."
No one with the local chapter of the fraternity could be reached for comment on Thursday.
The victim also could not be reached for comment.
University of Akron Police signed arrest warrants on Thursday morning for six members of the fraternity charging them with assault and hazing.
Records show they were each contacted and advised to voluntarily turn themselves in.
The university, meanwhile, issued a written statement saying:
"The criminal charges being filed today are the result of an investigation by The University of Akron Police Department (UAPD), acting on an anonymous tip. Based on the information gathered during the investigation, the University suspended the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity on January 31, essentially halting all fraternity activities, including new member intake. Hazing of any kind is not tolerated. As a University community we are deeply disturbed and saddened when any of our students suffer harm, and we will continue to support any victims in this pending case. As the case is now in the hands of the Prosecutor, we will not comment further on the specific criminal charges."