Courts & Crime

Lawsuit in Raleigh alleges teen died from hazing injuries

A 19-year-old sophomore at Lenoir-Rhyne University died of head injuries after he was tackled repeatedly during a fraternity initiation ceremony last fall, a lawsuit claims.

Harrison Kowiak, of Tampa, Fla., was blindfolded, released into a dark field last Nov. 17, and told to run to the other side and find a rock with his name on it, according to the suit, filed by Kowiak's parents today in Durham County Superior Court.

As he ran, he was repeatedly pushed and tackled by the fraternity members he hoped to soon claim as brothers, the lawsuit claims. Instead, he suffered a severe brain hemorrhage and died hours later.

The 27-page complaint accuses the fraternity of a long history of hazing and claims the university didn’t do enough to enforce anti-hazing policies. University officials declined to comment today.

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