4 Montgomery County men charged for yelling racial slur at Black Lehigh U. student
NORTHHAMPTON COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) -- Four Montgomery County men have been charged for yelling a racial slur at a Black Lehigh University student, the Northampton County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
Brandon John and Cameron Graf were charged with simple assault and harassment. Michael Rosta was charged with burglary and simple assault, while Nabil Jameel was charged with simple assault.
The DA's office said none of the men have any relation to Lehigh University.
The incident happened on Saturday, April 15 around 2 a.m. at the Asa Packer Campus at 57 University Drive in Bethlehem.
The victim, who's identity is being withheld at this time to protect his privacy, was walking home with two individuals in the area of Packer and Webster Street.
While walking, someone drove by in a vehicle and yelled a racial slur at the Black Lehigh student.
The Lehigh student told police he ran toward the vehicle after hearing the racial slur and hit his hands on the trunk of the car. He said he reached his hands into the back driver's side window, but he only briefly touched one of the men in the vehicle and continued to walk home, according to a release.
But, the men then parked, got out of the car and chased the Lehigh student and his two friends.
The DA's office said the Lehigh student was struck by one suspect and surrounded, but he was able to get away and run back to his residence hall.
According to the DA's office, the Lehigh student went to use the bathoom after meeting a friend at the residence hall.
As the Lehigh student exited the bathroom, the suspects attacked him, but he was able to escape without injury, the DA's office said.
The Lehigh student was able to get to safety by hiding in a friend's room inside the residence hall, according to a release. The suspects were allegedly banging on the door, but eventually left.
The DA's office said one of those suspects was armed with a small black firearm.
A witness who spoke with police regarding the incident said she was approached by a male who asked if she lived inside the building. According to the DA's office, she assumed he was friends with someone inside and let him in.
The witness told police after granting access the residence hall, a group of males came around the corner and entered the building.
The witness told police she overheard a commotion in the hallway, and the male she let in began banging on the door the Lehigh student was hiding in. She also told police she saw the man pull a small black firearm from his waistband and "either clicked off the safety or racked the slide."
According to the witness, the man was banging on the door with the firearm in his hand.
The DA's office said police identified John as the driver of the vehicle that arrived at the residence hall.
According to a release, John admitted to being involved in an altercation with the Lehigh student and said he was with Rosta, Jameel and Graf.
The DA's office said all the defendants admitted their involvement in the incident to police.
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