Two men charged in TKE off-campus hazing incident

By: Cody Boteler, Editor-in-Chief

Two men are being charged after investigations related to a March 31 off-campus hazing incident.

Baltimore County Police announced today that they charged two men with hazing  and reckless endangerment.

Evan Palmer Francis (right), 21, of Olney, and Alexander James Cantor (left), 21, of Bel Air, are both set to stand trial Sept. 19 in Towson District Court.

Both men were Towson students and members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at the time of the incident.

Ray Feldmann, a spokesman for TU, confirmed that the two men are not currently enrolled as TU students.

Hazing is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine and six months in jail; reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and five years in jail.

Francis was released on $35,000 bail, Cantor was released on $50,000 bail.

In addition, Towson University announced in a statement that TKE fraternity was suspended from campus from April 4, 2016, through summer 2021.

According to police, their investigation showed that during the event, members of Towson’s chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon made the victim, a 19-year-old male TU student, “perform strenuous workouts, recite knowledge of the fraternity and drink unknown substances.”

After the event, which took place in the 300 block of Hillen road, police said the victim became “extremely ill” and was taken to a hospital.

According to police, Francis was “responsible for overseeing events and ensuring the safety of TKE pledges. Cantor was responsible for the communication with an oversight of the TKE pledges.”

Police said that investigation showed that Cantor encouraged the victim not to seek medical attention, and to not talk about the cause of his injuries.

Police said the investigation shows that the victim’s injuries were consistent with “ingestion of an unknown caustic substance.”

According to police, Cantor coordinated the removal of TKE-related items from the victim’s dorm–while he was hospitalized and without his knowledge.

The statement from the national TKE organization.
The statement from the national TKE organization.

In a statement, officials with the national chapter of TKE said that they do not condone hazing in any form.

“Should any information be presented on any individual involved, we will take appropriate and swift action to remove his membership according to TKE’s Bylaws and Constitution policies,” the statement said.

Alex Baker, chief information officer for TKE, would not say, however, if the two men being charged with reckless endangerment and hazing would qualify as sufficient evidence for revoking their memberships in the organization.

Feldmann said that hazing is “one of the most damaging actions a campus organization—social, honor, service, athletics, academic, or other—can engage in.”

The incident remains under investigation, according to police.

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