Missouri student, 19, is brain damaged, blind and unable to walk or talk months after frat hazing


Former Missouri student, 19, is back home but brain damaged, blind and unable to walk or talk months after University frat hazing incident where he was forced to drink a bottle of vodka and was abandoned outside a hospital in cardiac arrest

  • Danny Santulli suffered alcohol poisoning in October at Phi Gamma Delta hazing
  • He was allegedly forced to drink a bottle of vodka and drink through a beer bong
  • The teenager was left unresponsive and suffered cardiac arrest
  • He is now in his parents’ care, still blind and unable to walk or communicate 

A University of Missouri student who suffered brain damage after he was forced to drink an entire bottle of vodka at a fraternity hazing is still blind and unable to walk or communicate.

Danny Santulli, 19, is back in his parents’ care in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, after months spent in a Colorado rehabilitation hospital, and his mother has quit her high-powered banking job to become his full-time carer.

In October, the freshman suffered alcohol poisoning at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on university campus, known as Fiji.

His parents, who have sued the fraternity, said Santulli and the rest of his pledge class were each forced to drink a bottle of hard liquor given to them by their ‘pledge fathers’. 

He was left unresponsive and was found in cardiac arrest inside a car after frat members dropped him off at University Hospital.

The parents of Daniel Santulli, 19, (pictured) sued the University of Missouri's Phi Gamma Delta fraternity after their son was found in cardiac arrest inside a car

The parents of Daniel Santulli, 19, (pictured) sued the University of Missouri’s Phi Gamma Delta fraternity after their son was found in cardiac arrest inside a car

The national fraternity and university both suspended the Missouri chapter following Santulli's hospitalization

The national fraternity and university both suspended the Missouri chapter following Santulli’s hospitalization 

Now, eight months after the horrific incident, the teenager is back home but his condition has not changed, attorney David Bianchi said.

He told the Columbia Tribune: ‘He has massive brain damage. He’s blind. He’s unable to walk or communicate’.

The parents have settled a lawsuit with 22 defendants and the fraternity, who have now been banned from campus for repeated violations.

And on Monday, Bianchi sought in a motion to add fraternity brothers Samuel Gandhi and Alec Wetzler in an amended petition, which was approved by Judge Joshua Devine.

The petition alleges Wetzler put a tube into Santulli’s mouth and poured beer down his throat, coercing him to drink an excessive amount of alcohol.

The lawsuit claimed that Santulli (pictured) and the rest of his pledge class were each forced to drink a bottle of hard liquor, given to them by their 'pledge fathers'

The lawsuit claimed that Santulli (pictured) and the rest of his pledge class were each forced to drink a bottle of hard liquor, given to them by their ‘pledge fathers’

The freshman suffered alcohol poisoning at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on university campus

The freshman suffered alcohol poisoning at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on university campus

Gandhi then walked away from Santulli after initially trying to assist him when it was clear that the freshman was dangerously intoxicated, Bianchi claims.

He walked into the room at 12.17am and saw Santulli had not moved from where he left him, the lawsuit alleges.

The 19-year-old’s blood-alcohol content was 0.486 percent, more than six times the legal limit for driving. 

The amended petition states: ‘At 12.28am, Danny slid partly off of the couch and ended up with his face on the floor but he had no voluntary control of his arms or legs and remained there until someone passing through the room saw him and put him back on the couch. His skin was pale and his lips were blue, yet no one called 911’.

Since 2017, Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, has six documented violations of alcohol distribution policies and two hazing violations at Missouri, according to university records

Since 2017, Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, has six documented violations of alcohol distribution policies and two hazing violations at Missouri, according to university records

He was later driven to MU Hospital in one of the fraternity brother’s cars but he was already in cardiac arrest.

Hospital staff performed CPR and restarted Santulli’s heart but he was still ‘unresponsive, unaware of his surroundings, unable to communicate and (with) a significant injury to his brain’.

Criminal charges have also been filed against Wetzler for misdemeanour counts of supplying alcohol to a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor. 

Fraternity member Ryan Delanty had been designated Santulli’s ‘pledge dad’ at the hazing.

He allegedly sent a text to a friend at 10.57pm to a friend saying: ‘My son is dead.’

The friend replied asking what had happened and Delanty answered: ‘I left him’.

Wetzler’s initial court appearance for the criminal charges is schedules for July 5. 

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