BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A University at Buffalo freshman involved in a suspected hazing incident has died.
Student Sebastian Serafin-Bazan, 18, was hospitalized early Friday morning with a serious medical condition believed to be a result of the incident.
A source said witnesses told detectives Serafin-Bazan was exercising before he suffered the medical emergency. UB officials suspect that he was undergoing some sort of hazing.
UB says the incident involves the Sigma Pi fraternity. A committee has since been formed to look into the activities of UB’s fraternities and sororities.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn shed a little light on what detectives are trying to figure out.
“Hazing in and of itself wouldn’t be a crime. It would be the conduct that results from the hazing, whether it’s assault. If this poor young man passes away. I’ve got to be able to prove the cause of death,” he said.
An autopsy would be a critical piece of evidence for prosecutors if they indeed find some sort of criminality.
Official activities of all fraternities and sororities were suspended until further notice.
A statement was sent to News 4 on behalf of Executive Director of Sigma Pi Jonathan Frost:
“The entire Sigma Pi family is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Sebastian Serafin-Bazan. 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. We will be initiating an internal investigation and review once the police have concluded their fact-finding.”
UB President Satish Tripathi released a statement on Serafin-Bazan’s death:
Dear university community,
I am deeply saddened to share with you that UB freshman Sebastian Serafin-Bazan passed away today.
Our hearts go out to Sebastian’s family for the devastating heartbreak they are experiencing. 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.
If you are struggling, please know that our university counselors are here to provide you support in the aftermath of this terrible loss. As we grieve Sebastian’s passing today and well beyond, it is my hope that each of us pauses to remind ourselves that we can only uphold our humanity by treating each other with dignity, compassion and kindness.”