TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The Florida State University Police Department arrested four students in connection to the hazing of 45 Delta Tau Delta pledges, according to court documents.
Zachary Bernstein, Omeed Farajzadeh, Brett Pittman and Kiahlin Redish were all arrested for creating “a substantial risk of physical injury or death” to the pledges of the fraternity, court documents said.
Farajzadeh is listed as the fraternity president and Bernstein is the treasurer, according to the chapter’s page on FSUIFC.com.
The national chapter of Delta Tau Delta suspended FSU’s chapter of the fraternity on September 27, and the university suspended the fraternity in November following its investigation.
According to the probable cause affidavit, which was filed after an FSUPD officer interviewed all 45 pledges, the pledges were told to stay on their knees for 45 minutes to two hours in rows of six to eight pledges across and deep during a meeting at the fraternity house on September 22. Throughout the meeting where they got hazed, the pledges had cigarettes ashed and sunflower seeds spat on them.
Redish was shirtless and sitting in the front of the room in a lounge chair. During the meeting, he slapped pledges, threw them to the ground and grabbed them by their collars, the affidavit said.
At one point, a pledge was told to stand up and say “what up Brother Pittman” while Redish was speaking about the history of the fraternity. After he was interrupted, Redish ran through the lines of pledges, knocking some over, and tackled the pledge that spoke up to the ground, according to the affidavit.
During the same meeting, Farajzadeh slapped a pledge because he touched his face to wipe sweat off. The affidavit also said Farajzadeh grabbed another pledge by his shirt and pinned him to the ground because he did not say “brother yes brother” to address him.
Bernstein grabbed a pledge by the buttox and upper leg area to make him fall to the ground, since the pledge was very drunk and asked Bernstein’s girlfriend to kiss another girl at a tailgate they attended earlier in the school year, the affidavit said.
On a different day while at the house, a pledge told FSUPD he wore Sperry shoes, and Pittman tackled him to the ground from behind and threw his shoes in a mop full of dirty water. Pittman then yelled at the pledge for wearing Sperry shoes.
FSU President John Thrasher sent the following statement to WCTV Tuesday afternoon:
“As I have said many times before, FSU does not and will not tolerate hazing of any kind. We are extremely concerned and disappointed by these fraternity arrests, but we’re pleased to see people are reporting hazing and other unsafe behavior. The changes we have implemented are taking hold and the future of the Greek system at FSU is in the hands of its members and advisers. Now, it’s important to let due process run its course in this case.”