College freshman found dead in suspected hazing incident

A university student in upstate New York has died following suspected hazing that led to a suspension of fraternity and sorority activities. University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi said Sebastian Serafin-Bazan died Wednesday. The 18-year-old freshman from Port Chester was hospitalized early Friday after the suspected hazing at an off-campus house.

Details of the case involving the Sigma Pi fraternity have not been released. Buffalo Police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo said police are investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved and are awaiting autopsy results.

In a written statement that the university said would be its only comment Wednesday, Tripathi extended condolences to the student’s family and friends.

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“Our hearts go out to Sebastian’s family for the devastating heartbreak they are experiencing,” Tripathi wrote. “We extend our sincerest condolences to the Serafin-Bazan family and to all of Sebastian’s friends here at UB and in his hometown of Port Chester, N.Y. We join them in mourning the tragic loss of a member of our UB family.”

University officials say an internal review is underway.

A look at the Sigma Pi fraternity house (center) on Custer St. in Buffalo, N.Y. WIVB-TV

CBS affiliate WIVB-TV reports Serafin-Bazan was performing exercises late Thursday when he experienced physical distress. Local newspaper The Buffalo News reports a neighbor was told by a fraternity brother that the victim was carried outside of the fraternity house to get some fresh air after falling and hitting his head on a coffee table.

WIVB-TV obtained a statement from Sigma Pi’s executive director, Jonathan Frost.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Sebastian’s family and friends during this extremely difficult time. We remain in communication with the Buffalo Police Department and university officials, and have offered our support for their ongoing investigation,” the statement said. “We will be initiating an internal investigation and review once the police have concluded their fact-finding.”

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