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Troopers: Student Could Lose His Eye After Alleged Hazing

By Deneisha Pearson
By dpearson@wbbjtv.com

MARTIN, Tenn. - The Alpha Tau Omega house at UT Martin is quiet.

The school has suspended the fraternity after an alleged hazing incident that could cost a new recruit his eye.

"This is not the norm, this is not what should be happening to you to participate in university life," Bud Grimes said, Director of University Relations.

Just before 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning troopers said the victim was walking along Parkers Levy Rd. when he was hit by a side mirror of a full-size pick up truck, driven by Alex McAlexander.

The victim and other new recruits were allegedly blindfolded and dropped off in the county by fraternity members and told to fend for themselves.

Troopers said McAlexander is not a UTM student or member of the ATO fraternity.

"We're gonna do the best we can to advise these organizations that this is not acceptable, it won't be tolerated," Grimes said.

Troopers said the student has been released from a Nashville hospital but will need surgery to correct the damage to his face.

According to school officials, the fraternity is not governed by the university.

The university only steps in when it concerns the well being of the members.

Some students say even though hazing is banned by the school it still goes on.

"I think everyone involved who participates in it also needs to realize the boundaries of it," Cody Magness said, UT Martin student.

While under interim suspension the fraternity must cease all activities.

Investigators said McAlexander was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

He faces a charge of vehicular assault.

He is now free on $25,000 bond.