Lehigh University police is investigating a hate crime against a Black student on campus. Chief of police Jason Schiffer sent a campus-wide email regarding the incident on April 20. (Xiaozhe Zhang/B&W Staff)

Update: racially motivated assault reported off campus


An update to this story can be found here.

Nov. 22 update (5:53 p.m.):

Bethlehem Police are asking for information regarding the two suspects who perpetrated the assault of a Black Lehigh student on Nov. 19. 

The assault occurred at around 3 a.m. in the area of South New Street and Morton Street, according to a BPD Facebook post

Police said the 22-year old student reported one of the suspects called out to him using a malicious statement about his race before both suspects confronted him. One of the assailants struck him in the face, causing a laceration and swelling to his lip.

The victim described the suspect who physically assaulted him as white, male, 20-25 years old and between 5’8” and 5’10” with dark colored hair, according to the Facebook post. BPD did not provide a description of the other suspect.

BPD is asking anyone who may have witnessed the assault, or anyone with information to contact the department at (610) 865-7000 or [email protected].

Original reporting:

A Lehigh student was assaulted off campus Saturday in what university officials are calling a racially motivated assault.

According to a campus-wide email from Lehigh president Joseph Helble, the two assailants, both white, physically assaulted and directed racist epithets at a Black student.

The identity of the assailants is unknown at this time.

Helble wrote that the student is recovering, and Lehigh police and staff are in contact with the student. The Bethlehem Police Department is leading the investigation.

“I want to assure all of our students, especially our students of color, of our commitment to your safety and well-being,” Helble wrote in the email. “I am committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for you. Racism, hate, verbal and physical violence have no place at Lehigh.”

The email included the link to Lehigh’s support resources page, which includes information on the University Counseling and Psychological Services office, located in Johnson Hall.

The Brown and White will update this story as more information becomes available.

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