4 Charged For Hazing After Va. Freshmen Swept into River

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  • PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) — Police arrested three men and sought a fourth Tuesday after two Virginia State University freshmen were swept away while trying to cross a swift, rain-swollen river as part of an initiation rite.

    The body of one freshman, identified as Marvell Edmonson, 19, of Portsmouth, was recovered Monday. The search continued Tuesday for the second, Jauwan M. Holmes, 19, of Newport News.

    The four suspects are connected to an organization known as “Men of Honor” that conducted an initiation Saturday that required seven male VSU students to walk through the rushing rapids of the Appomattox River, police said. While some were pulled to safety, two were swept away.

    Chesterfield County police identified the three in custody as James A. Mackey Sr., 35, of suburban Richmond; Eriq K. Benson, 19, of Quinton; and Cory D. Baytop, 26, of Newport News. Each has been charged with five counts of hazing. Police were seeking Charles E. Zollicoffer II, 29. An address was not provided.

    Benson and Baytop are VSU students. Benson’s attorney did not immediately return a telephone message. It was not clear if the other suspects had attorneys.

    Police Lt. Randy Horowitz described Men of Honor as a social club or “group whose mission is to build the character of young men.” He said he was not familiar with the organization beyond that, and said it was not sanctioned by VSU.

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    3 thoughts on “4 Charged For Hazing After Va. Freshmen Swept into River

    1. Stupid azz fraternities…I remember when these idiots tried to recruit me into that BS…Black people go through enough nonsense to be initiated as “Americans”…why should we go through more nonsense..??

    2. I know that I may be in the minority here, but why are these grown ass men not being held responsible for their own bad decisions? How can one party be prosecuted for doing harm to another party, when the other party consented to be a part of the activity, unless the latter were under the age of consent? Would I be prosecuted because a grown ass man got his toes burned off after walking on hot coals after I told him he had to do it if he wanted to be a part of my clique? You can’t be hazed unless you consent to being hazed.

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