Family of California University Student Sues Fraternity, Saying Hazing Led to Death

December 24, 2019

The family of a university student who died in 2018 after what they say was a hazing incident has sued a fraternity they claim is responsible for his death. KABC TV reported.

The family of Tyler Hilliard said that the 20-year-old was about to begin his junior year at the University of California, Riverside when he went through the pledging process at the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

“We are suffering the loss,” Myeasha Hilliard, Tyler’s mother, said. “We suffer with it every day.”

On Sept. 15, 2018, fraternity members took the pledges to Mount Rubidoux in Riverside for a run.

“Tyler was subjected to harmful, humiliating and life-threatening hazing rituals that ended at Mount Roubidoux where he apparently collapsed and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he died the following day,” attorney Toni Jaramilla said. “We believe he was kicked in the chest as part of a hazing ritual.”

The family is suing the fraternity and the UC Riverside chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. They are not suing the university. Riverside police are investigating.

Hazing in California is illegal. The fraternity’s website states the organization is against hazing.

A week before Tyler died, his parents say he ended up in the hospital after an alleged hazing incident.

Tyler’s father, William, said: “We’d like for anyone to come forward with more information than what we’ve already received. And I’m sure there’s a whole lot more than what we have knowledge of.”

His mother says there were other people up the mountain with Tyler and she hopes more of them will come forward. The fraternity’s national headquarters in Baltimore did not return KABC’s calls for comment.

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