Man Injured in Fall From Dartmouth Frat

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Hanover — A Dartmouth College employee suffered serious injuries after allegedly using LSD and marijuana and then falling out the second floor window of the Sigma Nu fraternity house, authorities said.

A 21-year-old man was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on Saturday, and police said they tracked down two other men in connection with the incident, one of whom was hospitalized with symptoms consistent with drug use .

The Hanover police and fire departments were called to Sigma Nu, at 12 Webster Ave., at about 6 p.m. Saturday, when an investigation began that led police to locate two other men whom they believe were using LSD and marijuana.

Police and college officials would not release the names of the three men, saying that no charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon and the matter is still under investigation. Police executed eight search warrants on Saturday and conducted multiple interviews, working until 1 a.m., Hanover Police Capt. Frank Moran said.

Moran said he believes the man who fell will recover.

“That night we weren’t sure of that,” Moran said. “As far as I’m aware of today, things have moved along for the better.”

Moran said he didn’t know if either of the two men who had been transported to DHMC were still at the hospital as of Monday afternoon. Moran estimated that the 21-year-old man fell about 20 feet to the ground from the second-floor window.

Two men, 22 and 20 years old, were located at another fraternity . The 20-year-old was transported to DHMC for treatment related to drug use, police said. He is not affiliated with Dartmouth.

The 22-year-old is a 2013 graduate of Dartmouth who is renting a room on the second floor of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He was not injured.

None of the men are affiliated with Sigma Nu fraternity, Moran said, and police think the alleged drug use was confined to the room the 22-year-old Dartmouth graduate was renting.

“In fairness to Sigma Nu, this does not appear to be something involving the fraternity or its membership,” Moran said. “As far as we’re aware, it appears these guys were doing their own thing” and were not in the company of Sigma Nu brothers.

Moran said the other two men were located at another fraternity, but would not comment on the exact location or why the two men weren’t with the 21-year-old who fell.

Moran wouldn’t comment on whether anyone witnessed the fall, but said numerous interviews were conducted and police found the other two men after interviewing witnesses.

Moran said he didn’t know if there were other people at Sigma Nu at the time of the fall.

“It’s an interesting time of night. It’s before 6 p.m. People are heading to dinner,” Moran said. “It’s part of the dynamic that makes this a little unusual.”

No one answered the door at the Sigma Nu house Monday afternoon. The building is a brick two-story structure, and the second floor windows have black shutters, and no balconies.

Members of Sigma Nu sent a message to fraternity alumni informing them of the accident and clarifying that none of the men involved were fraternity members, and that no member of the house witnessed the event.

The letter stated, “Because no brother was involved or witnessed the event, we are unsure of the underlying facts surrounding this incident and are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.”

Dartmouth spokesman Justin Anderson declined to comment Monday, citing the ongoing investigation.

Moran wouldn’t say whether charges will be filed against the three men.

“The most important thing initially was the well-being of the people involved,” Moran said. “There’s no rush to make any quick decisions or actions. We’ll finish the investigation and then do an assessment of the best move at that point.”

A similar incident occurred in 2011 when a 21-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman fell 44 feet from the roof of the Alpha Delta fraternity on East Wheelock Street. Hanover police called that incident drinking-related and both the students were juniors at Dartmouth at the time.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.