University of Missouri student is blind, can’t walk or speak after alleged hazing

A University of Missouri student who suffered a serious brain injury after being forced to drink a bottle of vodka during a pledge party is back home in Minnesota — but is blind and unable to walk or communicate.

“He has massive brain damage. He’s blind. He’s unable to walk or communicate,” family attorney David Bianchi said about 19-year-old Daniel Santulli, who is in his parents’ care, the Columbia Tribune reported.

Santulli, of Eden Prairie, was found inside a car Oct. 20 at University Hospital, where his blood-alcohol content was found to be 0.486 percent — more than six times the legal driving limit.

The student was resuscitated and placed on a ventilator after the hazing incident at the Phi Gamma Delta house, where he was a pledge, according to a February report in the Columbia Missourian.

Daniel Santulli has “massive brain damage” stemming from the alleged hazing incident.
Santuli Family

Bianchi — who has settled a lawsuit against the fraternity, known as Fiji, and 22 other defendants — on Monday sought in a court motion to add fraternity brothers Samuel Gandhi and Alec Wetzler to the lawsuit.

Wetzler was allegedly an organizer of the event, according to the probable cause statement cited by the news outlet.

“We didn’t know about them when we filed the original lawsuit,” Bianchi said, according to the outlet.

Santulli smiling in blue shirt.
Santulli was found inside a car Oct. 20 with a blood-alcohol content that was more than six times the legal driving limit.
Santuli Family

The petition, which Judge Joshua Devine approved, alleges negligence against the two defendants.

Wetzler allegedly forced Santulli to drink excessive amounts of booze by putting a tube into his mouth and pouring beer down his throat, according to the lawyer’s complaint.

Gandhi, meanwhile, walked back into Santulli’s room and saw that he had not moved from where he had left him, the Columbia Tribune reported on the amended lawsuit.

“At 12:28 a.m., 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,” the petition states.

“His skin was pale and his lips were blue, yet no one called 911,” it adds, according to the outlet.

Wetzler has reportedly been charged with misdemeanor counts of supplying alcohol to a minor and possession of alcohol by a minor. He is due in court on July 5.

Fraternity member Ryan Delanty sent a text message to a friend at 10:57 p.m. Oct. 19 during the “pledge father reveal party” saying “my son is dead.”

The friend responded by asking what Delanty did to him.

“I left him,” Delanty, the so-called “pledge dad,” reportedly texted back.

Bianchi said the fraternity members should be charged under the state’s hazing statute.

Protest on college campus.
The Missouri chapter of Phi Gamma Delta was suspended after the incident.
AP

“Missouri’s got a good anti-hazing statute,” he said, according to the Columbia Tribune.

The judge also has approved the dismissal of several defendants sought by Bianchi because of the settlements, the outlet said.

The national fraternity and university have both suspended the Missouri chapter of Phi Gamma Delta.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Danny and the Santulli family during this difficult time,” Ron Caudill, the fraternity’s national executive director, told the Missourian in February.