Student Who Vandalized His Roommate’s Possessions With Racist Graffiti Had Also Been Poisoning Him Over The Last Few Months

Yukai Yang, a former chemistry major at Lehigh University in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, stands accused of poisoning his roommate by adding toxic levels of the metal thallium to his food over a period of several months.

This crime was discovered some time after he allegedly defaced his roommate’s property with racist graffiti.

Juwan Royal, Yang’s roommate and victim of the poisoning, said that he woke Yang one night when he felt a burning sensation on his tongue after drinking a bottle of water.

Yang’s response was “So this substance that they are putting in your drink is colorless, odorless and dissolves in water,” according to a USA Today article, published Thursday.

Yang is a Chinese national who was attending Lehigh University on a student visa, which has since been revoked. A representative of Lehigh University confirmed he is no longer enrolled as a student.

Police responded multiple times to the dorm when Royal had experienced symptoms of the poisoning in the past, though he was only hospitalized once.

Royal was reportedly confused by his roommate’s behavior, according to Assistant District Attorney Abe Kassis:

“He believed they had a fairly cordial relationship as roommates.”

Both Royal and Yang were seniors when this took place and had roomed together during previous years.

Yang is now being charged with attempted homicide, in addition to the charges of ethnic intimidation he faces for the previous vandalism.

Twitter users had very strong feelings of shock and disappointment at the news, especially Lehigh students and alumni.




Some called for prayers for victim, Juwan Royal.

Still others recall a similar case, and it’s lack of real consequences.