As medical personnel treated a University of Tennessee student for severe alcohol poisoning from a bizarre consumption method, UT police walked into a drunken scene at a campus fraternity, records show.
Officers early Saturday found several young men at the Pi Kappa Alpha house, 1820 Fraternity Park Drive, passed out in their rooms "and bags from wine boxes, some empty and some partially empty, strewn across the halls and rooms."
Authorities think Alexander P. Broughton, 20, of Memphis, who had a blood-alcohol level thought to be "well over" 0.40 percent, ingested the alcohol by a method known as "butt chugging," in which wine was inserted directly by a tube into his rectum for quick and potent absorption.
On Monday, Pi Kappa Alpha's UT chapter was administratively suspended for 30 days by Pi Kappa Alpha International, pending a decision regarding its permanent status, according to a statement from UT spokeswoman Karen Ann Simsen.
UTPD is leading an investigation into the incident. Knoxville police are assisting as needed, according to Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk.
No criminal charges have been filed, although UTPD officers issued a number of citations early Saturday to young men at the fraternity, according to police records.
The suspension will remain in place while campus police investigate.
UT officers responded about 1:30 a.m. Saturday to the University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room after an unresponsive Broughton was brought in by several young men, according to a UTPD incident report.
The victim appeared to be "extremely intoxicated and showed signs of physical and possible sexual assault," the report states.
Investigators determined Broughton had received the alcohol enema at the Pike house. Broughton later was transferred to the hospital's critical care unit.
By Monday night he was no longer listed as a patient at the hospital, according to a nursing supervisor.
Police determined other students at the Pike house had engaged in a similar form of alcohol consumption.
"Upon extensive questioning it is believed that members of the fraternity were using rubber tubing inserted into their rectums as a conduit for alcohol as the abundance of capillaries and blood vessels present greatly heightens the level and speed of the alcohol entering the blood stream as it bypasses the filtering by the liver," DeBusk stated in a news release Monday.
The fraternity's UT chapter previously was suspended for two weeks after three pledges were hospitalized following a January 2008 hazing incident. A family member told the News Sentinel that the students had developed staph infections after being made to do exercises on a bathroom floor.