The Boston Police Department today sought criminal complaints against 14 suspects in an alleged hazing incident involving five Boston University students who were found bound, beaten, and covered in condiments.
Investigators are seeking to charge the suspects with hazing, assault and battery, and failure to report hazing, officials said.
Three people who lived at the Ashford Street home where the incident allegedly took place will be charged with keeping a disorderly house. Police said the owners reported ongoing problems with the tenants, and will be seeking to evict them.
Early Monday morning, police responding to a noise complaint at a fraternity house found five BU students tied up in the basement, duct-taped wrist-to-wrist wearing only underwear. The students had welts all over their backs and were covered head-to-toe in honey, hot sauce, and other food.
“All five were shivering and had horrified and fearful looks on their faces,’’ police officers wrote in a report. When an officer asked the students if they were OK, one shook his head no as tears fell down his face.
Kenneth Elmore, BU’s dean of students, said the suspected hazing was extremely serious and that those responsible would likely be removed from school.
“If these allegations are true, I think those students should expect they will not be students at BU,’’ he said.
The students would likely be suspended and could be expelled, school officials said.
Elmore said two of the students were also involved in a suspected hazing incident earlier this year in which underage sorority members were forced to drink to the point of requiring hospitalization.
Students who live at the home are members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, which is not affiliated with the university. The national fraternity suspended the BU chapter and its 30 members, saying the actions clearly violated the group’s guidelines.
“We have a very strong and clear policy against hazing,’’ said Jon Pierce, a spokesman for the Jewish fraternity, founded in 1913. “Based on what we’re aware of, they clearly did not follow our rules and regulations.’’
University officials have stressed to all students in Greek organizations that any hazing is unacceptable.
“I’ve got to think they got the word how serious we are about this,’’ Elmore said. “It’s troubling and very disappointing.’’
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said he was concerned about the incident and asked BU to forward their findings to the city.
“We’re not going to condone issues like this,’’ he said.
On Ashford Street, neighbors said the students were notorious for loud, late-night parties that often spilled out into the street and left the area littered with beer cups and broken bottles.
“Four a.m., and we can still hear music,’’ said Juan Valdez, a freshman at Berklee College.
T.J. Freda, a BU student who lives in the neighborhood, said he knows some of the students who live at the house, and said they “seem like the type that would do something like that.’’
He said he was stunned by the apparent extent of the hazing.
“I don’t know what to think,’’ he said. “I thought that kind of thing was only done back in the old days.’’
The large shingled house has a new fence and appears to have been remodeled. Three “No Trespassing’’ signs are prominently displayed out front.
Sarah Smith, a 26-year-old who lives two doors down, said the fence was built after an “obnoxiously loud party’’ in the fall.
“The house is absolutely beautiful,’’ she said. “It’s a shame they rented to such sketchy people.’’