Police: LSU student who died in hazing incident was forced to drink more than other frat pledges

Maxwell Gruver

BATON ROUGE — The 18-year-old LSU student who died of an alcohol overdose in a fraternity hazing incident was forced to drink more than the other frat pledges that night, according to police reports.

Max Gruver of Georgia died on September 14 after being taken to the hospital the morning after the hazing incident.

His blood alcohol content was .495%, and his cause of death is “acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration.”

Ten current and former members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity are facing charges in connection with Gruver’s death.

The night of Sept. 13, fraternity members called a “Bible Study” for pledges in which they lined them up against a wall in the fraternity house, asked them questions about the fraternity, and forced them to drink 190-proof alcohol called “Diesel” each time they answered a question wrong.

According to police reports, Matthew Naquin, the only one of the 10 who is charged with negligent homicide, was particularly aggressive in forcing the pledges to drink, especially toward Gruver.

Witnesses told police that Naquin didn’t like Gruver because he was often late for fraternity events. Naquin reportedly wanted to cut Gruver from the pledge list.

While most of the pledges at that night’s “Bible Study” were only told to drink three or four “pulls” — or three-to-five second swigs — of the alcohol, Gruver was told to drink 10-12 “pulls.”

Other frat members reportedly told Naquin to “cut it out” because it had gone too far.