The national chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity has suspended the Kansas University chapter indefinitely following a report of animal cruelty at a party that left a turkey brutalized and slaughtered.
Lawrence police and University of Kansas officials are investigating the allegations.
Martin Cobb, director of communications for Beta Theta Pi, said they are fully cooperating with the university and the authorities on their investigation. Along with the fraternity's national chapter, the KU Interfraternity Council are also investigating.
The turkey reportedly died during a party Friday night. A member of the band playing at the party, the Grand Marquis, called police in horror about what allegedly occurred to the fowl.
"The university expects anyone with information about this incident to cooperate fully," according to a statement. "Behavior such as that reported is reprehensible and is not what KU would expect from its students."
Police said witnesses claimed that the turkey was killed to end its suffering after it had been injured badly by party goers.
Members of the Grand Marquis and others described the horror to the Kansas City Star, KCTV5's reporting partner.
Chad Boydston, a trumpeter in the band, said the turkey was running for its life.
"It turned into a blood lust. We saw a mob mentality."
The band ended its set early, traumatized by what they saw especially on a day in which so many lives were lost at an elementary school in Newtown, CT.
Police were called to the fraternity house at 1425 Tennessee St., about 10:45 p.m.
"Officers determined the fraternity had a live turkey in a cage during a party at the house," according to Lawrence St. Trent McKinley. "The animal had allegedly been poked by individuals through the cage and heckled during the event."
The turkey was taken from its cage and apparently tortured.
"Witnesses report the animal being chased and abused by several individuals present at the party, seriously injuring the animal," according to McKinley's statement. "One individual then killed the turkey, stating he did so to end its suffering."
The case will be forwarded to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office. Should charges be filed? Tell us what you think. Go to KCTV5's Facebook page. Click here.
Click here to read more details in the Kansas City Star.
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