Lehigh University students shocked, ‘terrified’ after attack at off-campus home

By Danielle Nelson

*This article is posted on The Express Times website.


Bryan Sanchez-Osorio, 17, of Bethlehem, broke into a Lehigh University student’s off-campus home July 16, 2014, police say. The teen choked, smothered and tried to rape the female student, police say. Sanchez-Osorio is shown being led to and from his preliminary arraignment. Photo Credit Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com


With two Lehigh University email alerts issued to students in two days, Angela Lin is concerned.

The most recent alert came early this morning after a Bethlehem teenager entered an off-campus apartment in the 400 block of Carlton Avenue on the city’s South Side and brutally assaulted a Lehigh student, according to Bethlehem and university police. Police charged Bryan Sanchez-Osorio, 17, in today’s attack.

It didn’t take long for Lin to realize she lived nearby.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s just around us,'” Lin said. “Then, I realized that it is right beside me. I was terrified.”

After living on Carlton Avenue for three years, rising senior Minghi Zhu was shocked to discover that the assault happened on the western portion of South Side. Zhu, who is an international student, said about 90 percent of university emails concern incidents on the eastern side of campus.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Bethlehem teen charged with trying to rape, kill Lehigh student, authorities report

“Before I came (to Lehigh), the Chinese students who had already been here told me to rent an apartment on the west part of campus,” Zhu said.

This week’s earlier alert concerned an intruder in an off-campus apartment about 1:10 p.m. Tuesday in the 500 block of East Fifth Street, university police said; a female student home at the time startled the intruder, whom Bethlehem police apprehended after a short pursuit. No one was reported hurt, and nothing was taken.

Lin said that following this morning’s assault, she will not walk outside by herself after 10 p.m. Instead, she will use an escort.

Zhu said he is usually cautious and as a male student, he is not really scared.

Christina Dinapoli, a junior at Lehigh, said she will make sure her doors and windows are locked but is worried that after a few weeks people will not be worried anymore.

“Usually whenever anything drastic happens or something perks up in the news, people use precautions, but after a while they stop,” Dinapoli said.

Lehigh, in a statement tonight, said of this morning’s assault:

“Lehigh University is first and foremost concerned with the safety and well-being of the student, her roommates and the members of the community we share. We extend our concern for the victim and her roommates, as well as our gratitude to law enforcement for the quick apprehension of the suspect.

“University administrators have been in close contact with the students and are offering support and resources — including counseling and on-campus accommodations –- and will continue to do so.”

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