Police Investigating Death of Penn State Student Found in Fraternity House

iStock/Thinkstock(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Authorities in State College, Pennsylvania, are still investigating the weekend death of a college student and trying to uncover why it took fraternity members nearly 12 hours to report that they'd found him motionless at the bottom of basement stairs in their house.

According to police, officers were called to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house on the campus of Pennsylvania State University on Friday around 10:49 a.m. There, police said, they found 19-year-old Timothy J. Piazza unconscious.

"Fraternity members reported that Piazza, while intoxicated, had fallen down basement stairs around 11 p.m. Thursday," a police news release said.

Police said Piazza had been attending a party at the Beta Theta Pi house. He was taken to the hospital but died Saturday morning.

Penn State said Tuesday that Piazza was an engineering major from Lebanon, New Jersey, in his fourth semester.

In a Facebook post, Piazza's brother Mike said he was "utterly devastated."

"On Saturday morning, I lost my other half. Tim, I will miss you eternally," he wrote. "My job for the past 19 years has been to protect my younger brother. Now, I know he will protect me. I love you Timmy. Rest in peace."

Dauphin County coroner Graham Hetrick told ABC News that an autopsy was performed Tuesday and that it showed that Piazza had suffered multiple traumatic injuries due to the fall. Hetrick said there was also alcohol found in Piazza's system. Hetrick said the death was accidental.

"Alcohol was obviously a factor in this and we are also looking into why it took so long to call," State College police Lt. Keith Robb said Monday during a news conference, according to MyCentralJersey.com. "We are still in the process of determining that. We are getting some different stories."

In a statement on its Penn State Alpha Upsilon chapter website, said: "Our chapter is mourning the loss of Tim Piazza, a student who recently accepted an invitation to join our fraternity. It is believed that Tim's death stemmed from an accidental injury sustained from a fall in the chapter house. We are working closely with our General Fraternity to determine how this happened, and are fully cooperating with police and Penn State administrators in their own investigations. While additional statements and information will be released once confirmed, our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time."

Robb said, at the Monday news conference, that authorities were in the process of obtaining video from inside the fraternity house.

Penn State said its governing body for all fraternities as well as the fraternity's national organization had placed Beta Theta Pi on temporary cease and desist until all investigations were complete.

"Our deepest sympathy goes out to Tim's family and friends during this mournful time," the school said in a statement to ABC News. "Currently, the University is offering counseling services for those individuals in our community who are in need."

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Protests erupt from Boston to California as Confederate monument tensions boil over

Protests erupt from Boston to California as Confederate monument tensions boil overSpencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The weekend after a white nationalist rally collapsed into chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, leading to the alleged murder of an anti-racism activist, protests erupted across the country against white supremacy, racism and the presence of Confederate monuments.

Boston, Massachusetts

Tens of thousands counterprotesting a rally purporting to be about free speech swarmed Boston on Saturday, leading to a few conflicts with police and widespread attention from traditional and social media.

A total of 33 arrests were made Saturday in Boston, primarily resulting from disorderly conduct and alleged assaults against police officers, the Boston Police Department said. Police indicated that some demonstrators were throwing rocks and bottles of urine, but that did not represent the majority of participants, according to Police Commissioner William Evans.

"99.9 percent of the people here were for the right reasons" and participated peacefully, Evans said.

Dallas, Texas

Thousands of demonstrators gathered around the area of Dallas City Hall Saturday at a rally calling for unity, according to ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.

More than a dozen activists, politicians and faith leaders spoke prior to a candlelight vigil, the affiliate reported.

Tensions were high near Confederate War Memorial Park, where calls have been growing to remove statues commemorating Civil War veterans who fought for the Confederacy, WFAA-TV reported.

Cotton candy and caramel apples for sale for $3 in the middle of this protest against Dallas' Confederate War Memorial. pic.twitter.com/SdWNhGmTP1

— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) August 20, 2017

Monuments commemorating the Confederacy on public land "must be and will be removed," Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway said at a Friday press conference, which featured black members of Dallas's City Council, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Kevin Felder, one of the City Council members, said "taxpayer dollars should not support vestiges of racism and white supremacy," in reference to the statues, while speaking at Friday's press conference.

Five people were detained during Saturday’s rally and then released without charges, the Dallas Police Department told ABC News.

Memphis, Tennessee

Six demonstrators were arrested in Memphis following a rally to remove a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slavetrader and lieutenant general who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, according to ABC affiliate WATN-TV.

The monument has become a flashpoint of tension between anti-racism activists, who covered it with anti-racist signs on Saturday, and those who seek to protect the history of the Confederacy.

Gene Andrews, a caretaker for Nathan Bedford Forrest's boyhood home and a participant in the white nationalist rally that took place in Charlottesville last week, told the Tennessean newspaper that tensions over the monuments were building.

"I think people have had enough," Andrews told the paper. "Somewhere there’s going to be a line drawn. And if it’s a war that’s coming, so be it."

Our beloved @tamisawyer and other activists calling on @MayorMemphis remove Confederate statues. #TakeEmDown901 pic.twitter.com/bwjtTmEimp

— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) August 16, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia

Hundreds of groups gathered in Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday in Atlanta to march against racism and hate, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV.

The march ended at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the affiliate reported.

Hundreds of anti-racism marchers quietly filing into Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. #Charlottesville pic.twitter.com/gTApyUpWbI

— Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) August 20, 2017

Indianapolis, Indiana

Anthony Ventura, a 30-year-old man, was arrested after police said he damaged the Confederate statue with a hammer, according to ABC affiliate WRTV.

Laguna Beach, California

In Laguna Beach on Saturday, a group of about 300 demonstrators met for a pre-emptive response to a far-right rally planned for that day, the Los Angeles Times reported. At the rally, participants planned to call attention to victims of crimes committed by immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Thank you to Saturday's rally at Main Beach for staying peaceful while expressing your First Amendment rights. #LagunaBeach pic.twitter.com/mufznrEBIL

— Laguna Beach Police (@LagunaBeachPD) August 19, 2017

Saturday’s gathering of counterprotesters, which was set up to show solidarity and strength, was officially called “From Charlottesville to Laguna Beach: We Stand Together.” Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman helped organize the event and spoke to the crowd on Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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