17 charged in hazing incident at Radford University

RADFORD, Va. (WRIC) — Seventeen people, including 15 students, are facing charges stemming from a hazing incident that occurred at Radford University back in September.

The group allegedly forced prospective members to chug liquor, dance with strippers and in one case, burned a pledge while he was sleeping.

Earlier this month, 8News sister station WFXR obtained an affidavit for a search warrant in the town of Radford which showed that at least one student claims he was forced to drink an unhealthy amount of alcohol.

He said that the incident happened at a Pi Kappa Phi party in September 2017. Pi Kappa Phi is an unsanctioned fraternity, not affiliated with Radford University.

According to the affidavit, the victim, along with 15 other pledges, were given approximately eight 1.75 liter bottles of Burnett’s vodka. They were then reportedly forced to drink all eight bottles within five minutes.

Below is a list of the arrested individuals and a rundown of their charges:

  • Kyle Dennis Best, 20, of Haymarket, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Christopher Blair Gepford, 22, of Centreville, charged with hazing, and two counts of purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Matthew Dylan Thomas, 21, of Haymarket, charged with hazing, Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold, and Keeping, possessing or storing still or distilling apparatus without a permit
  • Caleb Lorenzo Howard, 19, of Manassas, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Joshua Ko, 19, of Fairfax, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Luke Everett Andress, 19, of Vienna, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Matthew Stuart Wedel, 20, of Manassas, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Jason Nicholas Wheeler, 21, of Fairfax Station, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Carlos Escabar, 23, of Alexandria, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Joseph Andrew Sible, 22, of Arlington, charged with hazing, Maintaining common nuisances, and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Trever Vaughn Stanford, 22, of Hamilton, charged with hazing, Maintaining common nuisances, and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Justin Patrick Hooper, 20, of Ashburn, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Marcel Terrence Gough, 20, of Herndon, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Samuel Kent Harris, 22, of Gainesville, charged with hazing, Maintaining common nuisances, and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Hunter David Hanes, 19, of Roanoke, charged with hazing and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Clayton Marshall O’Neill, 21, of Herndon, charged with hazing, Maintaining common nuisances, and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold
  • Jacob A. Tucker, 21, of Stafford, charged with hazing, Maintaining common nuisances, and Purchasing alcoholic beverages for one to whom they may not be sold

Representatives from the national headquarters for Pi Kappa Phi distanced themselves from the group in a written statement.

“Pi Kappa Phi closed its chapter at Radford University in June 2016. As part of the closure, the student members were directed to cease and desist all activities in the name of the fraternity,” the fraternity’s director of communication said. “The student group referenced is using our name without authorization. Pi Kappa Phi will pursue appropriate legal remedies to stop the unauthorized use of our name on campus.”

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