Amon Carter IV branded, burned by fraternity chums

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by JIM DOUGLAS / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

wfaa.com

Posted on January 26, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 29 at 2:55 PM

FORT WORTH — One of the most prominent families in Fort Worth wants answers about what happened to their son.

Amon Carter IV came home from a trip with his buddies branded and seriously burned.

Fraternity branding is a growing phenomenon, but this incident goes far beyond that. The family of the great, great grandson of Amon Carter is asking how could it happen — with no one held accountable and no one raising an alarm?

Everyone seems to agree it was a stupid decision by several TCU students, the result of a night of drinking — perhaps a dare.

Amon Carter IV, a sophomore who goes by the name of "Chance," told News 8 he consented to be branded on his buttock, but that he did not consent to what eventually happened.

Chance's dad, Amon Carter III, has retained a lawyer to make sure the branding is investigated by police and also school officials.

But the incident didn't happen on campus. It was in Breckinridge, Colorado about two weeks ago, where a large number of fraternity and sorority members had rented a home.

"Somewhere, somebody has to say this is not OK," Chance said. "My family doesn't think it's OK, and I am angry."

Sheila Johnson is a close cousin of Chance Carter, and the granddaughter of Amon G. Carter, the legendary publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and benefactor to the city.

She knows the incident could hurt her family, but says it's too important to let it go without an investigation. Johnson has a long history of working with victims of child abuse.

"This is a crime," she said. "This is not hazing."

Doctors say it will take multiple surgeries to repair the burns.

Just as shocking to Sheila Johnson and Chance's other relatives is that another student videotaped the branding, with the apparent intent to post it online.

Chance Carter's mother said the parents of other students showed her the video to prove the branding was consensual. But she says her son had defensive wounds from struggling.

The Carter family — including Chance — say they want everyone to see the consequences of bad decisions made that night.

They also want someone to be held accountable.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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