Frat Members Accused of Spitting on Veterans

Two chapters of Zeta Beta Tau currently under suspension
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2015 8:28 AM CDT
Frat Members Accused of Spitting on Veterans
Fraternity members allegedly peed on an American flag.   (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek, File)

The latest fraternity making headlines for bad behavior: The Zeta Beta Tau chapters at the University of Florida and, possibly, Emory University. The chapters held their spring formals at Panama City Beach's Laketown Wharf Resort last Friday, where the Warrior Beach Retreat for wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war vets was also taking place, the Gainesville Sun reports. Fraternity members are accused of spitting on the veterans and their service dogs, tearing magnets and American flags from their cars (and peeing on one flag), tossing beer bottles from a balcony onto the veterans, and vomiting onto awnings covering areas where the vets were gathered. "They knew who [the veterans] were and were just getting a kick out of it," says retreat founder Linda Cope, noting that the 60 participants were wearing hats and shirts identifying them as having served.

The founder called police, and hotel security got the situation under control (no police report was ultimately filed) and evicted the fraternity members the following day. News of the incident went viral when a veteran's wife posted about it on Facebook. The fraternity has since sent an apology letter to the organization noting that it's working on figuring out which members misbehaved, and now the president of the University of Florida has offered his own apology and promised a full investigation. Emory is also doing an investigation but says that so far no evidence implicates its students; Cope tells WJHG she finds that hard to believe. The executive director of the fraternity's national organization says the chapters at both universities are under suspension as the investigations continue, WUFT reports. (A fraternity pledge says he needed skin grafts after hazing in Rhode Island.)

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