Ex-Lehigh University Student Charged With Poisoning Roommate

A former Lehigh University student turned himself in Thursday after allegedly poisoning his roommate over the course of a few months, NBC News reports. Yukai Yang, a 22-year-old international student, was reportedly charged with “attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment” for allegedly poisoning roommate Juwan Royal with thallium—a chemical that is “colorless, odorless and tasteless.” Royal reportedly felt a “burning” in his mouth after he drank water in February and started becoming progressively ill in March—causing him to suffer from “dizziness, shaking and vomiting.”

According to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, Yang slipped the chemical into Royal’s food, drinks, and mouthwash. Yang was reportedly approached by police in May after he allegedly wrote a “racial epithet” on a desk in the room and was charged with “ethnic intimidation.” Yang admitted to buying the chemicals, but claimed he only intended to harm himself after he did poorly on exams, authorities said. He reportedly claimed he put thallium in food and drinks in the room’s shared refrigerator. According to NBC News, Royal’s blood tested positive for the chemical, and he was treated for thallium poisoning.