A student at the University of Tennessee needed emergency treatment from medical personnel for severe alcohol poisoning on Saturday. The student's blood alcohol level was thought to be well over 0.40 percent.
None of that may seem too out of the ordinary -- it is college, mind you. However, what makes this story unique is the method in which this particular student and his fraternity brothers allegedly used to get wasted. It's called "butt chugging," and it's exactly what it sounds like.
Police believe Alexander P. Broughton, 20, of Memphis ingested alcohol by inserting a tube directly into his "rectum" for "quick and potent absorption," The Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
"Upon extensive questioning it is believed that members of the fraternity were using rubber tubing inserted into their rectums as a conduit for alcohol as the abundance of capillaries and blood vessels present greatly heightens the level and speed of the alcohol entering the blood stream as it bypasses the filtering by the liver,” Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk said in a Monday news release.
Broughton's fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, was administratively suspended for 30 days by Pi Kappa Alpha International for the stunt, pending a final decision about its permanent status, UT spokeswoman Karen Ann Simsen said in a statement.
The University of Tennessee Police Department is now leading the investigation.
More from the News Sentinel:
No criminal charges have been filed, although UTPD officers issued a number of citations early Saturday to young men at the fraternity, according to police records.
The suspension will remain in place while campus police investigate.
UT officers responded about 1:30 a.m. Saturday to the University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room after an unresponsive Broughton was brought in by several young men, according to a UTPD incident report.
The victim appeared to be “extremely intoxicated and showed signs of physical and possible sexual assault,” the report states.
Investigators determined Broughton had received the alcohol enema at the Pike house. Broughton later was transferred to the hospital’s critical care unit.
WBIR has some additional details on the bizarre trend known as "butt chugging" and some reactions from UT students:
On Tuesday, Broughton's father denied reports that his son took part in "butt chugging" on Saturday.
"The incident as reported is not true in its entirety," the student's father, Mark Broughton, told the Knoxville News Sentinel. "There is significantly erroneous information out there and it has come from the Knoxville Police Department."
Mark Broughton also said his son is "fine" physically and he didn't miss a day of school. However, the father added that his son is "livid" about how police described the incident.
"My concern is the defamation of character that is occurring to my son. … I'm not saying the entire story is false — it's not. But portions of it were significantly erroneous," he said.
It is understandable that a father would rush to defend his son, especially when a viral internet story is threatening his reputation. From knoxnews.com:
Meanwhile, Mark Broughton said his family would release a public statement at the conclusion of their own investigation, which also may result in legal action.
"I'm certainly not ruling it out," the father said. "But I want to follow the facts first."
The story also made Anderson Cooper's "RidicuList" on his CNN show Tuesday: