Albany Police arrest more than a half dozen men and charge them with hazing after a bizarre incident. YNN's Beth Croughan reports.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "When officers actually got out of their cars, they could hear people screaming 'please stop, please stop,' and the words 'beg for mercy'," said Albany Police Spokesman Steve Smith after officers were called to 470 Hudson Avenue early Friday morning for a noise complaint.
When they went inside to investigate, Smith said, "They went into the basement of the house and located 14 SUNY Albany students lying face down on the floor of the basement. They were being hit with paddles, as well as rubber hoses. Their faces were submerged in water."
Smith said the water was about two to three inches deep and the floor was covered in mud and debris. He said the students appeared to be potential pledges for some sort of unsanctioned group, club or fraternity.
"It's a frat house as far as I know, I mean there's always stuff going on over there. You always hear yelling, screaming, partying," said UAlbany student Jazmine Delgado. Delgado lives next door to the house and said she wasn't shocked to hear of hazing happening there.
That's what police arrested seven people at the house for. John Storte,19, Nicholas Salamone, 20, Joseph Lane, 20, and Anthony Morello, 20, were charged with Hazing, Criminal Nuisance, and Unlawful Assembly. Vincent Serrecchia, 20, Joseph Sheehan, 21, and Anthony Warme, 20, were arrested for Hazing and Unlawful Assembly.
Police also arrested Philip Terra, 21, who they said was not present during the initial incident, for Obstruction of Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest. And they said Frank Calandra, 18, was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.
"They've all been run through the SUNY Albany roster," said Steve Smith. "The seven arrested (for hazing) as well as the 14 victims are not members of any fraternity that's affiliated with SUNY Albany."
According to Smith, some of the victims had minor cuts and scrapes, but they didn't want medical attention. Smith added that he's unsure if they will help police with their investigation.
"Between the water, between the being hit with paddles, between the rubber hoses, somebody could have seriously gotten hurt," said Smith.
YNN is awaiting comment from officials at UAlbany.
Albany City Councilman Anton Konev released the following statement in response to the incident:
"This type of behavior should not be allowed to continue. I call for a full investigation by the city police department and neighboring universities. These students should face expulsion from their academic institutions. Also, National of whatever fraternity this was, should be notified so that local university chapter they were part of, is no longer recognized. Any students who were not part of the incident, but are members in the fraternity, need to be notified that this type of behavior will not be allowed."