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Police charge two Towson students in fraternity hazing incidents

Evan Palmer Francis and Alexander James Cantor, both 21, were charged with hazing and reckless endangerment.
Evan Palmer Francis and Alexander James Cantor, both 21, were charged with hazing and reckless endangerment.

Baltimore County police charged two Towson University students Wednesday in a fraternity hazing incident that left a 19-year-old hospitalized.

Evan Palmer Francis and Alexander James Cantor, both 21, were charged with hazing and reckless endangerment. The university suspended the fraternity until the 2021-22 academic year in April after information about the incident came to light.

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A police investigation determined that a March 31 initiation event for the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Towson left a 19-year-old male student in the hospital. The event took place in the 300 block of Hillen Road in Towson.

"Towson University takes all allegations of hazing very seriously and deals with them swiftly," said Ray Feldmann, a university spokesman.

Police said that during the initiation event "the victim was made to perform strenuous workouts, recite knowledge of the fraternity and drink unknown substances." Afterward, police said the victim became extremely ill and went to the hospital. Investigators determined Francis and Cantor were present at the event.

"Francis was responsible for overseeing events and ensuring the safety of TKE pledges," according to police statement. "Cantor was responsible for the communication with an oversight of the TKE pledges."

Investigators also said that Cantor encouraged the victim to not seek medical treatment afterward and not to discuss the cause of his injuries. Without his knowledge, Cantor also removed TKA-related items from the victim's dorm while he was in the hospital, police said.

The same fraternity lost its chapter at the University of Maryland, College Park for rule violations.

In a statement, Feldmann said hazing is "one of the most damaging actions a campus organization – social, honor, service, athletics, academic, or other – can engage in."

The fraternity's international chapter said they closed the Towson chapter along with the university in a joint investigation.

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"Tau Kappa Epsilon does not condone hazing in any form" said Alex Baker, a spokesman for the fraternity.

Francis was released on $35,000 bail and Cantor was released on $50,000 bail. The two 21-year-olds will both face trial in Towson District Court on Sept. 19. The incident remained under investigation by police.

Francis and Cantor could not immediately be reached for comment.

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