Chinese student accused of trying to poison U.S. college roommate

By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A Chinese student attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged with attempting to murder his roommate of four years with a component of rat poison he ordered online, prosecutors said.

Reuters December 22, 2018 00:08:24 IST
Chinese student accused of trying to poison U.S. college roommate

Chinese student accused of trying to poison US college roommate

By David DeKok

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A Chinese student attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged with attempting to murder his roommate of four years with a component of rat poison he ordered online, prosecutors said.

Yukai Yang, 22, who is in the United States on a student visa, is to appear in court next month to face charges that he put thallium, a component of rat poison, in the milk and mouthwash of his roommate, Juwan Royal, who is black, according to charging documents.

Yang had already been under investigation for charges of ethnic intimidation for allegedly scrawling a racist message on Royal's desk and damaging his TV last spring, shortly after authorities believe he began trying to poison Royal.

The pair had been roommates since freshman year and Yang graduated last spring.

"He experienced extreme pain in his lower extremities as well as burning and numbness," Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said of Royal in a news conference on Thursday. "He required intensive medical treatment."

Yang's lawyer, Janet Jackson, could not be reached for comment. Lehigh University spokeswoman Lori Friedman said the university cooperated closely with the district attorney but could not comment further because of federal student privacy law. She did say that Royal has not graduated.

Lehigh University police said in charging documents that Yang, a chemistry major, admitted to ordering thallium online, but insisted it was to poison himself if he did poorly in his exams.

Blood tests confirmed that Royal had ingested thallium, a nerve agent that also damages the lungs, heart, liver and kidney, after multiple unexplained incidents of illness in March.

Yang was ordered held in Northampton County Prison under $200,000 bail. He is due in court on Jan. 3.

(Editing by Scott Malone; Editing by Dan Grebler)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.