4 FAMU band members arrested in hazing incident

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.,None —

Four more students are under arrest in the Florida A&M hazing scandal, but not for the death of a drum major.

Police said the group attacked five clarinet players pledging a secret group, and the new arrests brings the total to seven students charged in hazing cases.

WFTV's Daralene Jones learned that the four new suspects are still on campus, despite the accusations.

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University officials said they are in the process of drafting dismissal letters, and students have to receive the letter before they can be kicked out of school.

Hakeem Birch, Anthony Mingo and Denise Bailey were headed to class late Thursday when FAMU police arrested them on a warrant for misdemeanor hazing. Brandon Benson turned himself in after he heard campus police were looking for him.

Hours after the group bonded out of jail in Tallahassee, Birch told his friends on Facebook he was at a bar, drunk, after what had apparently been a stressful night in jail.

According to the police report, the four band members allegedly hazed five freshman new to the clarinet section of the famed Marching 100.

It started in September. Police said one man and four women were pressured to join an underground group known as the "Clones."

The pledges were forced to give up money, exercise beyond exhaustion, play music, punched, slapped and paddled for an hour at a time.

Police said they have pictures of bruises and proof that Bailey coordinated the hazing sessions at  Birch's off-campus apartment.

The four suspects were part of a group of 26 suspended from the band in early November because they were suspected of hazing.

University officials said they weren't in Orlando when drum major Robert Champion died following an alleged hazing incident. Champion also played the clarinet.

University police said they couldn't charge this group with felony hazing because the hazing has to cause serious bodily harm or death, as in the case of Champion.

The chief said he has arrested 25 people for hazing since 2001.