Frat 'blackout party' may have included wine enemas that lead to coma

Sep 28 2012 - 3:18pm

 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Xander Broughton told police he thought he'd won.

His prize? A trip to the emergency room, a near-fatal alcoholic blackout and international ridicule.

Alexander Price "Xander" Broughton, a 20-year-old University of Tennessee, Knoxville student swore to officers he never "butt-chugged" himself into a coma with a box of cheap red wine over the weekend, but bloodstains, his injuries and at least one witness account told a different story, University of Tennessee records released Thursday show.

"Mr. Broughton stated that at no time did he 'butt chug' wine or any other alcoholic beverage and that no one inserted anything into his rectum," UT police Lt. Dana McReynolds wrote in a report.

The student wouldn't agree to let police review his medical records. And his father said he believes there were no alcohol enemas involved but rather a drinking game called Tour de Franzia.

Broughton and about a dozen other underage friends, including fellow members of fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha's Zeta chapter, chugged the wine -- through one orifice or another -- as part of a "blackout party," with one member posting photos to Twitter, and tried to destroy evidence afterward, according to UT police reports.

Broughton was treated for severe alcohol poisoning Saturday after, according to police, four of his Pike brothers dumped him at the University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room unconscious around 1:15 a.m. with a blood-alcohol level of nearly 0.45 -- a potentially deadly concentration more than five times the legal limit.

Doctors declared him in critical condition, with rectal injuries so pronounced officials called for a sexual assault nurse, according to the reports.

Knoxville and UT police officers went to the Pi Kappa Alpha house and found the courtyard, halls and rooms littered with beer cans, empty bags from wine boxes and three passed-out frat boys -- one of them naked, according to the reports. A fellow UT student, John Patrick Carney, told investigators they'd been "butt-chugging" wine, according to police records.

Butt-chugging -- a term that's made the round of headlines, newscasts and jokes this week -- refers to using alcohol enemas to get drunk faster.

Broughton told police he drank "four to six" beers before going to the Pike house and then drank about half of a half-full 5-liter box of cheap red Franzia wine. He described the drinking as part of a game called "Tour de Franzia," based on seeing who can drink the most wine straight from the box without throwing up.

Broughton "does not remember anything else until he woke up in the hospital," McReynolds, the UT police lieutenant, wrote. "Mr. Broughton stated that according to his fraternity brothers he finished off (the box) and won the game."

Broughton tried to blame bloodstains found throughout the Pike house on a fight, according to a report. Investigators didn't buy the story, given his injuries and a bloody mess found in the Pike house restroom.

"There was a plastic bag with a light pink wine on the floor," UT police Sgt. Angela O'Neal wrote. "In front of the (rest room) door there was an empty plastic bag. There was bloodstained tissues on the sink, the sink counter top and the floor. I observed two of the toilet stalls had blood on the floor."

Broughton's family has disputed police accounts, and his frat brothers have posted denials on Twitter under such headings as "welikepike" and "dontslanderxander."

Mark Broughton of East Memphis, Tenn., father of Alexander, nicknamed Xander, said he believes his son was participating in a game to see which two-man team could consume a 5-liter box of wine in the shortest amount of time.

"Unfortunately, my son won," the elder Broughton said, adding that Alexander Broughton's team may have consumed the wine in just over an hour.

Mark Broughton, who has gathered information on the incident since the weekend, said medical personnel told him informally that his son's liver showed signs of the effects of the alcohol -- something he believes indicates his son drank the alcohol. The elder Broughton said he still is trying to secure his son's medical records to review the effects noted when he was admitted to the hospital.

Asked if he believes his findings dispel the "butt-chugging" report, Mark Broughton replied: "Absolutely. We have all disputed that amongst ourselves. The guys in the fraternity -- everyone to a man since the beginning -- has disputed that. The entire fraternity."

Broughton said that is not an indication that his son is shirking his responsibilities in the matter.

"It's just stupid decisions," the father said. "Hey, he takes responsibility for that. He admits it. Whatever punishment is coming, he deserves it, and he knows it."

(Contact Matt Lakin of the Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee at lakinmknoxnews.com and Clay Bailey of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., at baileyyourappeal.com.)

 

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