Two fraternity boys are accused of leaving a 19-year-old student unable to walk or talk after forcing him to drink a bottle of Tito’s vodka.
Danny Santulli also had beer poured down his throat through a tube after he was singled out as a target by fraternity brothers, according to his family.
He lost his skin color and his lips turned blue after being left passed out on a couch during the Phi Gamma Delta initiation ceremony.
The University of Missouri student’s heart momentarily stopped and Danny was eventually rushed to the hospital in one of the cars from the other engagement.
He suffered severe brain damage and became blind and unable to walk.
After spending months in a rehabilitation center, his mother quit her job at the bank to care for him full-time at home.
His family’s lawyer says it is “unlikely” that this “gloomy” prognosis will change, and now his family is demanding justice.
Speaking to Good Morning America, Danny’s mum cried as she said no one called 911 even as her son’s lips turned blue.
“He still does not speak or walk, he is in a wheelchair. He lost his sight. But he hears us and he knows we are there. We’ll just keep fighting – we’re not going to give up hope, she added.
Danny’s sister said: “It hurts my stomach to see the people involved who hurt Danny walking around campus acting like they’ve done nothing wrong.”
In a lawsuit filed last week, Danny’s parents accuse Samuel Gandhi and Alec Wetzler of targeting their son last October.
The fraternity was filled with “cocaine, marijuana and alcohol” to ensure the pledges had a night they “wouldn’t forget”, the lawyers said.
Surveillance footage obtained by Good Morning America shows Danny and other promises being led shirtless and blindfolded down a staircase at the fraternity.
The pledges had family-size bottles of Tito’s vodka taped to their hands and were called “pussies” if they stopped drinking, according to documents obtained by DailyMail.com.
Danny was then seen falling backwards, passing out on a table and being left slumped on a couch.
His parents settled a lawsuit with 22 defendants and the fraternity, who were banned from campus for repeated violations.
Among these was fraternity boy Ryan Delanty, who was Danny’s designated “promise father” for the night.
At 10:57 p.m. on the evening of the hazing, he reportedly texted a friend saying, “My son is dead.” When asked what happened, he replied, “I left him.”
Danny’s parents are still suing Gandhi and Wetzler, who lawyers say were on bail for a previous hazing incident at the time.
Their lawsuit claims Danny was at their “entire disposal” for a month as part of his initiation process.
They say he was ordered to bring food, alcohol and cannabis to the fraternity brothers at all hours of the night, to clean their rooms on command.
Danny, who was deprived of sleep, was also forced to buy things for them with his own money and was ordered to climb into a trash can filled with broken glass, according to the lawsuit.
During the hazing, Weltzer picked Danny as a “target” and forced him to drink beer from a tube before making him go back to his bottle of Tito’s, the lawyers claim.
When it was clear he was dangerously drunk, Ghandi first tried to help him, but then walked away.
The lawsuit says that at 12:17 a.m. he entered the room and saw that Santulli had not moved from where he had left him.
About 10 minutes later, Danny partially slipped off the couch and was unable to move his arms and legs as his face touched the floor, the lawyers say.
They claim a passerby saw him and put him back on the couch and despite his blue lips and pale skin, “no one called 911”.
No one faces criminal charges for the incident except Wetzler, who was charged with supplying alcohol to a minor.
The business administration student is no longer at the university, but Gandhi, who is studying architecture, is still enrolled.
Representing Danny’s family, David Bianchi says the parents want the fraternity members charged under Missouri’s anti-hazing law.
“This is the worst case of fraternity hazing in the United States in terms of injuries. You can’t be hurt more and still be alive,” he added.
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