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UK police found a liquor violation at frat house where student was before he died

·4 min read

The University of Kentucky police found alcohol and filed a liquor law violation report for Farmhouse Fraternity when an 18-year-old was found unresponsive at the house before dying of likely alcohol poisoning, officials said Wednesday.

The incident caused officials to make a campus security report in the police department crime log that says, “Person aged 18-20 in possession of alcohol (20 counts); alcohol intoxication.”

Here’s what happened at the fraternity house to warrant the liquor law violation log entry on Monday when the death investigation began for Lofton Hazelwood, according to UK spokesman Jay Blanton.

“When the University of Kentucky responded to the call about an unresponsive student, police entered a room where multiple people had been in and out of the room and would have had access to alcohol that was found there,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean 20 people were there at the same time. It simply means that UKPD knows that 20 people had been in and out of the room from initial interviews and would have had access to alcohol. There are no citations because UKPD didn’t witness anyone drinking,” said Blanton.

The time of the alcohol violations noted in the log is 5 p.m. Monday.

“That is the estimated time, from interviews conducted, that we believe drinking had started or had started at the house … or the estimated time that violations had started to take place … not when our officers arrived. They arrived shortly after being called, which was about 6:22 p.m,” Blanton said.

UK is required to post the report publicly on its crime log under a federal law known as the Clery Act.

“There’s an ongoing investigation, so I can’t speak to specifics about the location of the alcohol or the student,” Blanton said.

He said police documented information for the Clery Act and now is forwarding that information to the Dean of Students’ office for further review.

“Keep in mind this is a death investigation. UKPD are focused on that. Other information is being turned over to the Dean of the Students office for its investigation,” said Blanton. “I can say that this type of reporting and what you see on the log is common and standard for how and what we report and what is required by federal law.”

The University of Kentucky suspended “all activities for the Farmhouse Fraternity” while two investigations are conducted into Hazelwood’s death, President Eli Capilouto said Tuesday night in a message to campus.

The university’s Office of Student Conduct is also investigating the death of Hazelwood, who was from Henderson, after he was found unresponsive at the Farmhouse Fraternity, Capilouto and Vice President for Student Success Kirsten Turner said Tuesday. Hazelwood likely died of alcohol toxicity, the Fayette County coroner said Tuesday.

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe told the Herald-Leader Wednesday that he is asking for people to contact the UK police “if they were ... at the FarmHouse, or had been having any interaction with Mr. Hazelwood that day.”

“We’re happy to interview them and talk to them to get more information. Our main focus is to find out what happened and if there were criminal violations involved or not,” Monroe said.

“We’re looking at the circumstances that led to the death of the student,” Monroe said. “Wherever that might be is the direction that we will go with our investigation.”

“We will look at all the facts involved,” he said. Monroe said at this point, only UK Police are investigating, but he may seek the help of other agencies.

No one has been charged or detained in relation to Hazelwood’s death. Monroe and other UK officials are fielding questions about whether other pledges or students under the influence of alcohol fell ill at the same time.

“There’s been no evidence so far that we’ve had that identifies and substantiates that,” he said.

“I would ask if the public has any of this information that they call us or email us on our tipline to give us that information,” he said.

Monroe is requesting that people come forward and leave anonymous messages or their names and number.

The tipline is (859) 323-8477 (TIPS).

“We’re interviewing a lot of people,” he said. “It’s very early on in the investigation for us to make any assumptions.”

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