Last October, Antonio Tsialas was enjoying his first semester at Cornell University, his dream school. A graduate of Ransom Everglades, a renowned Miami private school, he was a popular and high-achieving young man who played soccer and excelled at academics. Then, he was invited to a Phi Kappa Psi party as a potential recruit.
Witnesses say he left the party later that night, which is allegedly the last time anyone saw him.
His body was found at the bottom of a gorge near the Cornell campus later that weekend, still wearing the clothes he had on at the party. Since then, our firm has been fighting tirelessly to get answers from Cornell University Police alongside Flavia Tomasello and John Tsialas, Antonio’s parents. “I’ve never had a university be less cooperative than Cornell was in this case,” Attorney David Bianchi said in the WSVN report.
Officially, Antonio’s cause of death is reported as “blunt force trauma” from a 100-foot fall, with alcohol intoxication mentioned as a contributing factor. We believe there’s far more to the story than that.
WSVN recently interviewed Flavia, John, and David to report what we believe happened to Antonio and their frustration with Cornell’s refusal to turn over the results of its investigation. We know that the polo shirt Antonio was wearing the night he was hazed was found near his body with vomit and a footprint on it, which indicates there was someone with him the night he died.
“He was either escorted from that fraternity house by others, into the dark of night, to a remote part of the campus, or he was allowed to walk out the door after being hazed and drinking,” David stated.
The Hazing Theory
Our investigation and David’s familiarity with fraternity hazing abuse suggests that Antonio didn’t just attend a run-of-the-mill party that night. Instead, he attended a well-established secret fraternity tradition.
“They call it ‘Christmas in October,’ and they have seven different rooms set up inside the fraternity house, and every room has a different theme and different kinds of alcohol,” David said. “After they gave them a lot of alcohol to drink, the freshmen were held upside down by their ankles, and they then dunked them in a trash can filled with water.”
Holding Cornell Responsible
Flavia and John are suing both Cornell and Phi Kappa Psi for their role in Antonio’s death. Phi Kappa Psi’s fraternity practices and its members contributed to Antonio’s death, and Cornell is responsible because it has had a long-standing history of hazing abuse and it has not done enough to stop it.
Suing the university has become the only way Antonio’s parents will get answers about his death. The world-famous university has been notably uncooperative with our firm’s investigation.
“They have to control the actions of these fraternities by cracking down on them,” John said.
Our firm looks ahead to prying the information out of Cornell since they will not give it to us voluntarily. Our goal, alongside Flavia Tomasello and John Tsialas, is to get to the truth of what happened that night.
Only once we get the full truth can Flavia and John get closure for their son’s tragic death—and only then can we hope to prevent another death like this one from happening again on Cornell’s campus.
Read the full story and watch the video from WSVN.