A graduate of Stevenson University in Maryland is suing the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity for $4 million, alleging brutal acts of hazing that included beatings with canes and paddles that caused him to be hospitalized.
Johnny Powell, II went through recruitment at Coppin State University in Baltimore, in hopes of starting a Kappa Alpha Psi chapter at Stevenson. He and several other men were under the guidance of the fraternity's president of the Baltimore chapter.
"I wanted to give back to my community as well so I thought that was the organization for me," Powell said.
He claims he was beaten with paddles, forced to do painful exercises for several minutes at a time while reciting information, and slapped in the back while doing pushups and situps. Powell also said he was required to run errands and buy items for members of the fraternity. If he didn't fulfill those orders, Powell said he would be physically punished.
"I shouldn't have to die to be in a fraternity," Powell said.
Powell alleges at least one of the beatings occurred at a Fort Washington home, during what was supposed to be an informational session.
"We're talking about 30- and 40-year-old grown mean beating my client with canes, beating him with paddles," Powell's lawyer Jimmy Bell said.
Powell said he was hospitalized from the brutal beatings.
"The doctor told him if he hadn't come to the hospital, he probably would have died from internal bleeding," Bell said. "They did a lot of things that are sadistic."
Powell said he sees a therapist and still has back issues.
Under Maryland's anti-hazing law, those convicted can be jailed for up to six months and face a $500 fine. Bell is also representing a Bowie State University student who is suing Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for $3 million over hazing allegations.