Skip to Content

Texas State student’s lawsuit says fraternity members attacked him, causing brain injury

A Texas State University fraternity has been suspended and two men face charges after members of the fraternity allegedly attacked another student. He was left with a fractured skull and a traumatic brain injury, according to his attorneys.

San Marcos, Texas, police say witnesses have provided a video which captured the incident on a street in San Marcos at about 2:30 a.m. on October 27. Police have not said what led to the altercation.

Nikolas Panagiotopoulos was allegedly attacked by a group of Pi Kappa Phi members who mistook him for a member of another fraternity, according to a lawsuit filed in Travis County on behalf of the student. The incident occurred outside the fraternity house.

“We learned that after the attack that members of the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi boasted on Snapchat about putting “two Phi Psis in the hospital or jail,” said Sean McConnell, an attorney representing Panagiotopoulos. “Nick was not a member of any fraternity,” he told CNN.

CNN has not been able to verify the claim that members of Pi Kappa Phi boasted about attacking a member of another fraternity on social media.

According to the lawsuit, the group began taunting Panagiotopoulos and attacked him as he tried to flee.

Three members of the Pi Kappa Phi Eta Rho chapter at Texas State University allegedly assaulted him and caused severe injuries. The lawsuit names Peter Piralla, Kevin Anthony Ayala Jimenez and Josue Jimenez, as the assailants.

When reached for comment, Pi Kappa Phi’s Director of Communications, Victor Tran, told CNN, “It is our policy that we do not comment on pending litigation.”

CNN has also reached out to the defendants named in the lawsuit but has not yet heard back, and it’s unclear whether they have legal representation.

Two have been arrested

In a statement, police say that a San Marcos detective was assigned to the case and was able to track down many of the witnesses who did not come forward on the night of the incident.

On the video of the incident captured by a witness and obtained by CNN from Panagiotopoulos’ lawyers, police say you can see “the victim running away from the physical disturbance and at least three aggressors pursuing the victim and beating and kicking him.”

At least one witness can be heard on the video, yelling at the group to stop.

On November 25, police arrested Kevin Jimenez while he was in class at TSU and arrested Josue Jimenez at his place of employment in Austin. Both are charged with aggravated assault, according to police, and more warrants are expected to be issued for others involved.

Peter Piralla has not been arrested.

The incident is not the first for Pi Kappa Phi, a nationally recognized Greek fraternity, nor for Texas State University.

Indiana University suspended its chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity from activities amid allegations of an assault and the use of anti-Semitic and racial slurs this past weekend. No one has been charged in the case as campus police and prosecutors continue their investigation.

Separately, TSU temporarily suspended all fraternity and sorority activities in November 2017 after a pledge in another fraternity died following an off-campus social event.

The civil lawsuit filed on behalf of Panagiotopoulos is seeking more than $1 million in damages due to a traumatic brain injury and emotional distress.

“The attack was precipitated by a culture within the fraternity that encouraged drinking, bullying, and violence,” his attorney Jay Harvey said in a statement.

Texas State University assistant director of communications Yvonne Rhodes said it suspended the fraternity after learning of the fight.

“Texas State University is not a party in the lawsuit. As soon as the university was notified of the incident in October 2019, Pi Kappa Phi was suspended,” Rhodes said.

Article Topic Follows: National/World

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content