Hazing News

Raw video and Sean Carroll (Ch. 13) Reporter Notebook in Geneseo death: 55% BAC

I’ll present this in “notebook style” and try to make sense of all that’s unfolded since Saturday afternoon when NYSP believe 19 year-old Arman Partamian began drinking around 1 p.m.  All of this information comes to be On The Record from NYSP unless otherwise specified.

-Partamian and at least two other pledges are about 2 weeks into an 8 week pledge process to become members of an “underground” or “renegade” frat called “The Pigs” or “The Orange Knights” that is unaffiliated with SUNY Geneseo.
-“The Pigs” formed in 1982 according to what some members told NYSP.
-Partamian and presumably 20-30 partiers drink an assortment of beer, champagne, gin, and vodka.  Other drugs were possibly present at this party.  Party-goers include minors, some of which were high school students.
-Around 11-11:30pm Partamian is taken to an upstairs bedroom in this Lower Court Street home dubbed “The Pig House.”  Not long before then he fell and suffered a minor abrasion to his head; they don’t believe this was a factor in his death.

9-1-1 Call @ 11:01pm Saturday Night:
(Call is not being released to the public but I was aloud to listen to it and take notes, as was our newspaper partner the Democrat & Chronicle and they have an accurate account of the call here.)
-Came from a SUNY Geneseo Resident Advisor (R.A.) named Kian Bichoupon.
-Bichoupon describes concern relayed to him from other students that a party at “The Pig House” involves hazing, minors drinking, pledges running around a bonfire, falling down, vomiting, etc.
-Dispatcher calls a village police officer to determine the address of this “Pig House” because Bichoupon doesn’t know it. (I heard this conversation too)
-Village officer knows where the house is, it’s just outside of the village limits (about 100 feet or so) and with Sheriff’s Deputies tied up on other jobs the village officer agrees to drive by and take a look for himself.
-Officer finds nothing out of the ordinary, reports this back to the dispatcher.
-NYSP believe someone tipped off those present at the party to the R.A.’s 9-1-1 call and that allowed party-goers to shut the party down before the officer arrived.

-Arman Partamian is found in the bed he was taken to the night before by at least two people who stayed the night at that home.
-There is a time lapse between this discovery and the next call to police about his being “unresponsive” which came in at around 11am.
-Major Mark Koss doesn’t believe that time lapse was more than an hour, may have been very brief but they are still investigation.
-Partamian is found face-down in the mattress.
-He’s wearing a shirt, but not the orange pledge jersey witnesses saw him wearing the night before.  There could be any number of reasons for this, he may have change shirts himself or someone else helped him change before the Sunday morning discovery of his body.  Investigators are still looking into this.

Information since then:
-Partamian’s Vitreous Humor Blood Alcohol Content Level was .55% and this is determined by testing fluid in his eyes which does not break down as rapidly as other fluids tested for BAC.  His “Heart BAC” was .39% and his “Urine BAC” was .49% for example.
-3 men rented the Lower Court Street home from a man named Scott Kipphut of Conesus who has owned that home since 1989.  2 of those men are SUNY Geneseo Students – Adam Brownsten & Henrik Sukonnik.  The third is named Mark Lascell who also appears in the school’s directory as living “off-campus.”  (NYSP have different spellings for Brownsten & Sukonnik – college officials however confirm the spellings we will use from this point forward)
-Toxicology report for Partamian will not be completed for another 6-8 weeks and will determine the exact cause of death.
-Investigators say they will wrap up their investigation this week and turn evidence over to Livingston County D.A. Tom Moran who will then be asked to consider charges.
-Charges likely to be considered include Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Providing or Selling Alcohol to Minors, Hazing, or possibly a form of Negligent Homicide.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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