‘n***** get out of here’
College chemistry student, held in lieu of $200,000 bond after he’s charged with attempted homicide of fellow student
Yukai Yang, 22, was charged Thursday with attempted murder for slowly poisoning his black roommate and scrawling racist graffiti on his bed
He is accused of feeding roommate Juwan Royal with thallium over time in the spring while they both attended Lehigh University
Investigators believe Yang poisoned his roommate’s drinks, food and mouthwash
Royal experienced symptoms that included dizziness, shaking and vomiting
Yang, who is a Chinese international student, was also charged with ethnic intimidation, institutional vandalism and criminal mischief for scrawling racist graffiti on Royal’s bed
Police said the pair had been roommate for several years and Royal was ‘dumbfounded’ because he believed they were friendly
Yang lost his student status , and has been expelled from the school
Victim: Juwan Royal tested positive for thallium believed to placed in his drinks and mouthwash by his roommate, a chemistry major over time, in the spring while the and Yang attended Lehigh University
Morganelli said Yang told officers that the milk in the refrigerator and Royal’s mouthwash had changed color. He told officers he believed someone was tampering with the belongings in their room.
Royal became sick again on the morning of March 29 when he began throwing up and shaking. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. About a week later, graffiti that said ‘n***** get out of here’ was scrawled on Royal’s bed and police were called.
Yang provided a written statement that said he left the room and locked the door. But Morganelli said police compared the graffiti with Yang’s letters and saw similarities.
Yang was charged with ethnic intimidation, institutional vandalism and criminal mischief in that case.
Yang is no longer enrolled at Lehigh and his student visa has been revoked.
It wasn’t until the graffiti investigation that Royal took a blood test which tested positive for thallium, with 3.6micrograms per liter above the safe toxicity level for people, Morganelli said.
After Yang’s computer was seized, he admitted to buying chemicals online but said it was intended to harm himself if his grades started to decline.
He did admit to mixing the chemicals with food and drinks in the dorm refrigerator.
‘Initially, Mr. Royal was dumbfounded by this as everyone else, because he believed they had a fairly cordial relationship as roommates,’ Assistant District Attorney Abe Kassis said.
Royal, who graduated in the spring, was immediately treated for poisoning, but prosecutors say he still suffers physical effects from the poisoning.
Yang was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $200,000 bail.
He is no longer enrolled at Lehigh, and his student visa has been revoked.