UPPER MARLBORO, Md. –
He volunteered to pledge a fraternity, but the young man you are about to meet says he never imagined how ugly it would get. He also says he has the pictures that prove it.
Kevin Hayes says he was hazed by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
“A lot physical and emotional pain,” he said.
“I want people to know that what happened to me is wrong and it shouldn’t happen to anybody else after this,” said Hayes. “It doesn’t build people up. It breaks them down.”
Now, Hayes and his attorney Jimmy Bell have filed a $3 million lawsuit.
“My goal is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again and people will come out and not be afraid against bullies,” said Bell. “That’s what these people are — they are bullies.”
The lawsuit names Alpha Phi Alpha, its chapter advisor at Bowie State and two intake officers who with pledges.
“This is not just a couple of young people acting a fool because they don’t know anything,” Bell said. “These are men who had already graduated. They’re coming back on campus doing sadistic deeds and criminal behavior. It has to stop and why didn’t someone stop it?”
There is no Alpha Phi Alpha house on the campus of Bowie State. In fact, the university is not even named in the lawsuit. The says the incidents happened off campus.
But Bell says his felt the effects of them on campus and everywhere he went.
“Even after we had finished the process, I still dealt with being ostracized, being talked about, being belittled,” Hayes said.
In a statement, a school spokeswoman told FOX 5: “Bowie State University has a stringent anti-hazing policy that is coupled with a strong anti-hazing education program. The university considers hazing to be indefensible and contrary to the interest of the university community.”
It is also against the law. Hazing is a misdemeanor in Maryland. It carries a $500 fine. Hayes says he would like to work in Annapolis to make the law tougher.
“I believe no one has spoken up, and if someone does, it will cause a change,” said Hayes.