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Police Investigating “Suspicious Death” Of Student Pledging UC Riverside Fraternity

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He was studying for a degree in physics at University of California Riverside and wanted to be an engineer.

Hazing Is Suspected

But tragically 20-year-old Tyler Hilliard is dead.

His death is being linked to hazing, after the student from the University of California Riverside pledged at the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. 

According to the fraternity’s website, Alpha Phi Alpha has a strict no-hazing policy.

But his family firmly believe hazing was what led to Tyler’s death. They say he was forced to eat an entire onion covered in hot sauce, forced to drink large amounts of water; and even paddled with a piece of cactus.

But last week, Tyler’s family say things escalated further. He was admitted to the hospital for having difficulty breathing. But after being checked over by a doctor, he was released.

Then on Saturday the fraternity allegedly ordered him and the other pledges to go up Mount Rubidoux.  They reportedly told the pledges it was a day run – even though it was 9:15 at night.

What happened next is under investigation, but the paramedics were called again after Tyler shows signs of breathing difficulty. 

He Was Rushed To Hospital

Hilliard was rushed to the hospital, but was later pronounced dead.

UC Riverside has released a statement on his death: “The UC Riverside community grieves the loss of our student Tyler Hilliard. We’ve shared our condolences and offer of support with Tyler’s family and have made counseling services available to students, faculty, or staff who knew him. UCR Student Affairs and UCPD are collaborating with the Riverside Police Department to determine the circumstances regarding Tyler’s passing.”

Alpha Phi Alpha also released a statement: “The Fraternity shares our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones, and the entire university community, as their loss is unimaginable,” the fraternity’s executive Director Jamie R. Riley said. 

The fraternity has placed the Riverside chapter on suspension during the investigation and is cooperating with authorities.

Hilliard would have been a junior this year, majoring in engineering.



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