Alcohol was involved in the death late Saturday night of an American University freshman who fell two stories from his dormitory, the D.C. deputy medical examiner said yesterday.

Although lab reports won't be completed until later this week, examination of the body of Kenneth Alicea, 18, showed "evidence that alcohol did play a role," said Dr. Michael Bray.

Anita Gottlieb, director of university relations, said several of Alicea's fellow students said the just-enrolled freshman had been "drinking heavily" before the accident.

"We understand there were three or four students in a room, or going from room to room, drinking," Gottlieb said. "I am told the other kids were drinking beer and he had in his possession a bottle of liquor."

According to police and campus officials, Alicea crawled through his dorm room window onto the roof of a dorm wing before falling two stories to his death.

Gottlieb said the university assigned chaplains and counselors to the dorm to help the students deal with the tragedy. "It's a pretty traumatic thing for everyone there," she said.

American University's rules specify no drinking in the dormitories, although beer and wine are sold in campus eateries to those over 18. Gottlieb said no disciplinary action is planned against the students who were drinking with Alicea.