An ex-Pennsylvania college student accused of leaving racist graffiti for his black roommate in their dorm room and poisoning him with a toxic metal is reportedly being investigated for a second poisoning.
Per The Lehigh Morning Call, District Attorney John Morganelli announced Thursday that they’re investigating whether Yukai Yang, 22, poisoned another Lehigh University student. Morganelli declined to reveal additional details, stating that their investigation is in the early stages. It’s unclear is the second alleged attack was motivated by race.
The news of another investigation comes as authorities rearrested Yang upon learning that he posted $200,000 cash bail and was angling for his own deportation to China in hopes of avoiding prosecution. Morganelli indicated that they believe Yang’s mother posted his bail, according to WNBC.
“Mr. Yang thought that because he is a foreign national, now here illegally in that his student visa has been revoked, that he could post bail, waive his right to a deportation hearing and abscond,” the prosecutor said. “That will not happen.”
Formerly a chemistry major at the University, Yang was arrested earlier this month and charged with attempted murder. The Morning Call reported that authorities believe Yang slipped thallium—an odorless, colorless, and lethal chemical typically used in rat poison—into Juwan Royal’s food and drink in the months leading up to the graffiti incident.
Authorities said the pair, who were seniors at the time, appeared to live together without issues for several years. In April, the international student was arrested for ethnic intimidation for allegedly damaging Royal’s property and writing “N****R GET OUT OF HERE” on Royal’s desk inside their dorm.
Royal reportedly recalled drinking from a water bottle in February and feeling a burning sensation on his tongue which lasted for up to four days. In March, Royal was reportedly rushed to the hospital after experiencing vomiting for 45 minutes, according to the outlet.
NBC News reported that Royal’s blood tested positive for thallium. Investigators reportedly asked Yang about Royal’s ongoing illnesses in May, to which he claimed he purchased several chemicals to harm himself if he underperformed on his exams. Yang said he mixed the chemicals into food that he placed in the refrigerator, prosecutors alleged.
“This was over a period of time with small amounts of poisoning occurring,” Morganelli said, claiming Yang poured the toxic chemical into Royal’s milk and milk. “It was added to food and drinks in the refrigerator.”
Prosecutors said Yang is no longer a student at the university and his student visa was revoked. They also said Royal, who has since graduated, continues to suffer from symptoms related to the months-long poisoning, according to Lehigh Valley Live.
Yang is being held in Lehigh County Jail. A second bail hearing is pending.
[Featured Image: Yukai Yang/Northampton County Department of Corrections]