Tim Piazza’s father accuses his fraternity brothers of ‘murder’
‘No-one should consume that much alcohol. That’s torture’
On a segment with CNN, Timothy Piazza’s parents said if they had known then what they know now about Penn State fraternities, they would have never allowed their son to join one.
“As a parent, it was chilling,” said the father, Jim Piazza. “In my mind, it was murder. They let him suffer for 12 hours. They let him die a very slow death.”
On February 4, sophomore Timothy Piazza died the morning after his fraternity’s bid night from a combination of hazing, overconsumption of alcohol and a series of injuries that were not medically examined until 12 hours later. Piazza suffered from respiratory failure due to severe head trauma and compromised brain function, a medical expert testified. He had multiple traumatic brain injuries and a fracture at the base of his skull.
Jim Piazza told NBC News’ Today that he asked the doctor if the outcome would have been different had Tim been brought to the hospital earlier and unfortunately, that answer was yes.
“Nobody should consume that much alcohol,” his mother, Evelyn Piazza said. “That’s torture.”
As a result of this tragedy, Beta Theta Pi is permanently banned from returning and eighteen members of the fraternity now face charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to aggravated assault. In addition, President Barron has put in place stricter Greek Life guidelines for the upcoming school year.
“This wasn’t ‘boys being boys.’ This was criminal activity,” said Jim Piazza.
The surveillance video shows Piazza falling head first down 15 basement steps around 11 p.m. and four fraternity brothers allegedly carrying him upstairs to a couch. Fraternity members can be seen on camera slapping him, throwing water on his face, sitting on him and strapping a backpack on him to keep him from falling or vomiting.
Jim Piazza said that the fraternity brothers knew his son was dying and even when they knew death was “imminent” the next morning they waited 42 minutes to call for help, according to surveillance footage cited in the grand jury findings.
“When I walked into the [hospital] room, he looked like he got hit by a car,” Mike Piazza, Tim’s brother, told CNN.
The Piazza family has not watched the surveillance footage, as it is too painful.
“Tim Piazza is not just our son. He really represents every son and daughter of every family that was looking to go to college and potentially participating in Greek Life in the future,” said Piazza. “We need to make these changes for them.”