A Filipino American freshman at the University of California, Irving, died from “accidental acute ethanol poisoning,” authorities have announced.
Noah Domingo, 18, had a blood alcohol level of approximately 0.331, more than three times the legal limit, when he died around 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, according to a statement from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities did not receive a 911 call until six hours after Domingo’s death and responded to the home around 9:30 a.m.
“Someone is not breathing. They’re not OK,” the caller tells the 911 dispatcher. “Their whole body is like blue right now.”
The caller said Domingo “just drank too much.”
However, Noah Domingo’s father, Dale Domingo of La Crescenta in Los Angeles County, believes that his son died during a Sigma Alpha Epsilon “big brother night” hazing ritual.
“We have discovered the horrifying truth about fraternity hazing,” he told CBS News. “Noah was compelled to guzzle a so-called ‘family drink’ to become part of his big brother’s family. It is why fraternities openly refer to this type of ritual as being one of the deadly nights.”
Authorities were not as quick to conclude the death was caused by hazing. “The Irvine Police Department is actively investigating this case. At the conclusion of our investigation we will present our findings to the District Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether charges are warranted,” Lt. Mark Anderson said in a prepared statement.
Meanwhile, UC Irvine placed the fraternity on interim suspension pending the investigation. The fraternity’s national organization has since closed the university’s chapter indefinitely according to a statement released by the school.
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