4 arrested, 7 sought in hazing at college Caning at UMES leads to charges


State police began serving arrest warrants yesterday to 11 University of Maryland, Eastern Shore students on assault charges stemming from caning in a hazing ritual that resulted in the hospitalization of five fraternity pledges.

Troopers had arrested four of the men by last night, said Capt. Greg Shipley, a police spokesman.

The 11 being sought, members of the Kappa Alphi Psi fraternity, are charged with first-degree assault, hazing and reckless endangerment.

The assault charge is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, Shipley said.

Those in custody last night were identified as Garnett Hall, 26, of the 2900 block of Oakley Ave., and Gerald J. Watson Jr., 22, of the 5700 block of Key Ave., both in Baltimore; Khary D. Pittman, 22, of the first block of Forest Rock Court in Catonsville; and Damon L. Rowlette, 21, of the first block of Applegate Court in Pikesville.

Police said they hoped to arrest the remaining seven men in the next several days. Their identities were not divulged last night.

The suspects are accused of beating pledges with wooden paddles and canes on dozens of occasions over two months. Five of the pledges ended up at a Salisbury hospital, one needing surgery to remove gangrenous flesh.

State police began investigating the fraternity's activities in April, prompted by complaints from parents of the victims.

In 1996, Kappa Alpha Psi, one of three fraternities at the 3,200-student campus in Princess Anne, agreed to pay $2.25 million to the parents of a Southeast Missouri State University student who died of head injuries suffered during a hazing ritual. Last month, Kansas State University suspended its chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi after a 23-year-old alumnus was severely beaten, allegedly by a fraternity member.

Pub Date: 5/16/98

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