Harrowing surveillance footage shows brutal hazing of University of Missouri student Danny Santulli


Surveillance footage has emerged of the brutal hazing of a University of Missouri student who is now blind, unable to walk and unable to speak as a result of the brain damage caused when he stopped breathing after downing vodka and beer and passing out on a couch in his fraternity house. 

Danny Santulli, 19, is now wheelchair bound, blind and unable to speak as a result of the brain damage he suffered in October 2021 during the ‘Pledge Dad Reveal Night’ at Phi Gamma Delta. The teenager was ordered to down a family-sized bottle of Tito’s and had beer force-fed to him through a tube. 

Surveillance footage obtained by Good Morning America shows Danny and the other pledges being led shirtless and blindfolded down a staircase in the frat house. 

Later, he is force-fed beer through a tube and then he is seen falling backwards, passing out on a table and then slumped on a couch. 

 

Danny Santulli, 19, is now blind, unable to talk and in a wheelchair as a result of the brain damage he suffered on a brutal night of hazing last October 

Before: Danny is shown in 2020 before the hazing incident left him permanently disabled

Before: Danny is shown in 2020 before the hazing incident left him permanently disabled 

Danny is shown on the night last October with a bottle of Tito's in his hand

Danny is shown on the night last October with a bottle of Tito’s in his hand

Danny is shown slumped half-off of the couch inside the frat house after passing out

Danny is shown slumped half-off of the couch inside the frat house after passing out 

Danny passed out on a couch inside the frat house and eventually his frat brothers took him to the hospital

Danny passed out on a couch inside the frat house and eventually his frat brothers took him to the hospital 

Danny Santulli is shown above being carried to a car to be driven to the hospital on October 20 after a brutal night of hazing at his University of Missouri fraternity

Danny Santulli is shown above being carried to a car to be driven to the hospital on October 20 after a brutal night of hazing at his University of Missouri fraternity 

Danny is shown falling backwards onto a table at the frat house on October 20 last year

Danny is shown falling backwards onto a table at the frat house on October 20 last year 

In this blurry image, Danny is force-fed beer through a funnel and a tube despite already drinking a family-sized bottle of Tito's vodka

In this blurry image, Danny is force-fed beer through a funnel and a tube despite already drinking a family-sized bottle of Tito’s vodka 

Fraternity pledges at the Phi Gamma Delta 'Pledge Dad Reveal Night' are shown walking blindfolded and shirtless down the stairs of the frat house

Fraternity pledges at the Phi Gamma Delta ‘Pledge Dad Reveal Night’ are shown walking blindfolded and shirtless down the stairs of the frat house 

The boys are shown making their way through the frat house before Danny passed out

The boys are shown making their way through the frat house before Danny passed out 

The footage also shows his panicked frat brothers trying to carry him into a car to take him to the hospital once they realized how severe his condition was. 

By the time he got there, he had stopped breathing for long enough to cause severe brain damage. 

After months in a rehabilitation center, Danny was recently taken home to Missouri where his mother now cares for him round-the-clock. 

His family previously sued 23 people, including the fraternity, and won their case with an undisclosed settlement but they are now suing two individual frat boys; Sam Gandhi and Alec Wetzler. 

They are also demanding felony charges be brought against the pair. 

Wetzler has been charged with misdemeanor providing alcohol to a minor and he is no longer enrolled at the school, but Gandhi has not been charged and he remains a student. 

According to the family’s lawsuit, Gandhi saw the dire state Danny was in but did nothing to help until it was too late. 

In an interview with Good Morning America on Thursday, Danny’s mother cried as she explained that none of the boys ever called 911. 

Danny, shown with his sister, is unlikely to ever walk, talk or see again. He will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life

Danny, shown with his sister, is unlikely to ever walk, talk or see again. He will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life

Danny's mother sobbed as she asked why none of the kids called 911 when they saw her son passed out with blue lips

Danny’s mother sobbed as she asked why none of the kids called 911 when they saw her son passed out with blue lips 

‘Just the fact that nobody… they knew he was in distress. His lips were blue and nobody called 911. I mean, six year olds call 911.’ 

She added that he will need care ‘for life’. 

‘He’s still not talking or walking, he’s in a wheelchair. He lost his vision. But he hears us and he knows we’re there. We’ll just keep fighting – we’re not going to give up hope, she added. 

Danny’s sister told of her disgust that the frat boys responsible had not been charged. 

‘It makes me sick to my stomach seeing the people involved that harmed Danny walking around campus acting like they did nothing wrong,’ she said. 

His father added: ‘I want to see them with felony D’s’.  

DailyMail.com previously revealed the two fraternity boys being sued.

Gandhi is an architecture student who is due to graduate next year. Wetzler is studying a BA in business administration.

The amended lawsuit against them details how they and others – who were previously sued and who settled those lawsuits – force-fed Santulli beer and gave him a family-sized bottle of Tito’s to drink.  

Samuel Gandhi

Alec Wetzler

Samuel Gandhi (left) and Alec Wetzler (right) have been named as defendants now by the family of Danny Santulli, a teenager whose family say was forced to drink until his heart stopped last October during pledge month at Phi Gamma Delta

When he passed out and went into cardiac arrest, they finally drove him to the hospital. 

Now, he is unlikely to walk, talk or see again. His mother has quit her banking job to care for him full time. 

According to the lawsuit, the pair wanted to make the night one ‘the pledges wouldn’t forget’ so filled the frat house with ‘cocaine, marijuana and alcohol’. 

 ‘This is the worst fraternity hazing case ever in the US in terms of injury. You can’t be any worse injured and still be alive

David Bianchi, attorney for the victim 

The new pledges had family-sized bottles of Tito’s taped to their hands and were branded ‘p*****s’ if they stopped drinking, according to documents reviewed by DailyMail.com. 

The lawsuit also claims the boys were under caution from the school for a previous hazing incident at the time.  

Wetzler has been charged criminally with providing alcohol to a minor but Santulli’s lawyer, David Bianchi, tells DailyMail.com the family wants him and others to be charged with hazing. 

‘This is the worst fraternity hazing case ever in the US in terms of injury. You can’t be any worse injured and still be alive,’ Bianchi said. 

He added that Danny’s prognosis is ‘grim’. 

The national fraternity and university both suspended the Missouri chapter following Santulli's hospitalization

The national fraternity and university both suspended the Missouri chapter following Santulli’s hospitalization 

‘He’s got massive brain damage, he’s blind, he cant walk.. it’s unlikely there will ever be any material change.’ 

The parents have settled a lawsuit with 22 defendants and the fraternity, who have now been banned from campus for repeated violations. 

On Monday, Bianchi sought in a motion to add fraternity brothers Gandhi and Wetzler in an amended petition, which was approved by Judge Joshua Devine.

The lawsuit claimed that Santulli (pictured) and the rest of his pledge class were each forced to drink a bottle of hard liquor, given to them by their ‘pledge fathers’

According to the lawsuit, the fraternity brothers gave Danny a family-sized handle of Tito’s vodka and told him to finish it throughout the night. 

He had, at that point, been at their ‘beck and call’ for a month as part of the grueling hazing process. 

‘He was sleep deprived, was having to buy things for the fraternity brothers with his own money and was repeatedly ordered to clean the brothers’ rooms and bring food, alcohol and marijuana to them at all hours of the night. 

‘Making matters worse, during the pledging process, Danny had been ordered to climb inside of a trash can that had broken glass in it,’ the lawsuit reads. 

Two nights before the incident, Danny cried to his sister that he’d had enough, the lawsuit claims. 

His family told him to quit the fraternity but he said he didn’t want to because he ‘wasn’t a quitter.’ 

On the night of the hazing, the lawsuit says Weltzer stood on a chair ‘looking for a target’ and spotted Danny. He then forced him to drink a beer via a tube, then made him return to his family-sized bottle of Tito’s. 

The petition alleges Wetzler put a tube into Santulli’s mouth and poured beer down his throat, coercing him to drink an excessive amount of alcohol.

Gandhi then walked away from Santulli after initially trying to assist him when it was clear that the freshman was dangerously intoxicated, Bianchi claims.

He walked into the room at 12.17am and saw Santulli had not moved from where he left him, the lawsuit alleges.

The 19-year-old’s blood-alcohol content was 0.486 percent, more than six times the legal limit for driving. 

Santulli’s near-death hazing is the latest in a string of similar incidents in America in the last ten years. 

There have been more than 200 hazing deaths at schools across the country since the 2000, with 2019 being one of the deadliest years. 

The most recent death was that of Phat Nguyen, a Michigan State University student who died in November last year from alcohol poisoning. He had pledged to Phi Alpha Phi. 

Before that, Adam Oakes and Stone Foltz died in two separate incidents at Virginia Commonwealth University and Bowling Green State University. They both suffered acute alcohol poisoning. 

There were no hazing deaths in 2020 because schools were closed due to COVID-19. 

In 2019, five kids died in alcohol-related hazing incidents.  

According to the lawsuit, the frat boys from The University of Missouri (shown) were already under caution for a previous hazing incident

According to the lawsuit, the frat boys from The University of Missouri (shown) were already under caution for a previous hazing incident

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk