KNOXVILLE — A University of Tennessee student denied "butt-chugging" wine, but bloodstains, his injuries and eyewitness accounts told a different story, UT records released show.
The members of fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha apparently chugged the wine — through one orifice or another — as part of a "blackout party," with one member posting pictures to Twitter, and tried to destroy evidence afterward, according to a UT police report.
Alexander P. Broughton, 20, of Memphis was treated for severe alcohol poisoning last week after he arrived at the University of Tennesee Medical Center unconscious with a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.45, according to police — a potentially deadly concentration more than five times the legal limit.
Knoxville and UT officers reported finding empty bags from wine boxes and passed-out frat boys at the Pi Kappa Alpha house, where at least one member told investigators they'd been "butt-chugging" wine, according to records.
Butt-chugging — a term that's made the round of headlines, newscasts and jokes this week — refers to the practice of using alcohol enemas to get drunk faster.
UT officials had met with frat leaders from across campus just 10 days before to review rules against drinking on campus.
Broughton told police he'd drunk four to six beers before getting to the Pike house and then drank half of a half-full 5-liter box of cheap red Franzia wine, according to UT police records.
Broughton "does not remember anything else until he woke up in the hospital," UT police Lt. Dana McReynolds wrote in a report.
"Mr. Broughton stated that according to his fraternity brothers he finished off (the box) and won the game."
He tried to explain bloodstains found throughout the Pike house as the result of a fight, according to a report.
Investigators didn't buy it, particularly given injuries to Broughton's rectum and a bloody mess found in the Pike house restroom.
"In front of the door there was an empty plastic bag," UT police Sgt. Angela O'Neal wrote. "There was bloodstained tissues on the sink, the sink counter top and the floor. I observed two of the toilet stalls had blood on the floor. ... "There was a plastic bag with a pink wine in front of the couch and a red solo cup containing this same liquid."
In the meantime, the Pi Kappa Alpha national office in Memphis has suspended the local Zeta Chapter for 30 days pending the outcome of its investigation.
UT has indefinitely suspended the Zeta Chapter.
The chapter's suspension means members cannot engage in any fraternity activities and can't have nonmembers in its house unless they are students participating in a meal plan.
Officers cited 12 Pike members on charges of underage drinking.
Broughton has since recovered and returned to classes. His family says they dispute police accounts but haven't given specifics.