New details in ASU student's deadly fall

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by Tanya Mendis

Bio | Email | Follow: @tanyamendis

azfamily.com

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 4 at 5:11 AM

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State University student killed in a fall from the 10th floor of an apartment building last weekend was at an off-campus fraternity party before the incident, according to investigators with the Tempe Police Department.

Police said the party at 1416 S. Jen Tilly Lane was thrown by ASU students referring to themselves as Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity members. That group is not officially recognized by ASU, as they have been sanctioned in the past for various violations, according to police.

Investigators have also revealed that people attending the party were charged $30 to enter and consume unlimited amounts of alcohol. However, if visitors escorted three women into the party the entry fee was waived.

Police broke up the party and cited seven students for underage drinking.

Surveillance video showed Naomi McClendon appeared to be very intoxicated when she arrived at the apartment building, according to police.

Police said this incident is a stark reminder of the dangers of underage alcohol consumption.

As part of its mission to address alcohol-related problems that increase during the school year, police will increase patrols this weekend, targeting the geographical area of Broadway Road to University Drive and McClintock Drive to Mill Avenue.

Other local police agencies have committed police resources targeting youth alcohol and DUI enforcement. Officers will be monitoring known youth party locations as well as proactively targeting areas where underage alcohol consumption is high.

"Things like this can be prevented. What happened to Naomi could have been prevented," said Lt. Michael Pooley with the Tempe Police Department.

Participating agencies this weekend:

  • Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Chandler Police Department
  • Gilbert Police Department
  • Mesa Police Department
  • Arizona State University Police Department

Raw video: Police interview on deadly fall

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Family Statement:

We want to share our sincerest gratitude for the outpouring of love for Naomi and of tremendous support for our family. Although the power of prayer is unmeasurable, it is mighty, and we know all of the prayers and thoughts are helping to sustain us.

Although we grieve the loss of precious Naomi, the pure joy and love she inspired in us will remain foremost and constant. We take comfort in knowing that this most amazing person—whom we were privileged to have in our family as a gift for 18 years—lived her life fully and happily, with vibrancy and deep faith.

We are leaning on the arms of our Heavenly Father, and we feel blessed by the incredible love and support we have received.

During this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we grieve and additionally request media show restraint with airing footage from this past weekend. Our hope is that Naomi is remembered as she lived. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Nate and Judy McClendon

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STATEMENT FROM ALPHA EPSILON PI INTERNATIONAL FRATERNITY
ON INCIDENT AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
 
"Alpha Epsilon Pi International Fraternity removed recognition from its Arizona State Chapter in December of 2013 due to repeated violations of our risk management policies.  The chapter’s charter was revoked and all chapter functions and operations were ordered to cease.  The recent incident at Arizona State was not an authorized event and did not involve recognized active members of Alpha Epsilon Pi.
 
This group has no affiliation with Alpha Epsilon Pi and it had no authority to operate under the name of Alpha Epsilon Pi.  Any mention of this event indicating that it was a party of “Alpha Epsilon Pi” is false and misleading.
 
Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity has been a leader in the interfraternal world in promoting risk management and appropriate behaviors among its members.  Unfortunately, there are some young men who are simply unable to abide by our standards and, in this case, we were forced to close our chapter.
 
We feel terribly about this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the victim.  Tragedies like this simply should not happen to our young people at institutions of higher learning."

 


 

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