More Temple Students Say They Were Attacked

Detectives say suspects involved in 2 other attacks around the same time

By NBC10 Staff
|  Tuesday, Apr 1, 2014  |  Updated 7:59 PM EDT
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Another Temple Student Attacked

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A week after three teens were arrested for allegedly assaulting Temple University students, two more students have come forward, claiming they were also victims of assaults, according to the Temple News.

The Temple News reports that a 21-year-old senior and 19-year-old freshman, both females, told police they were approached by a group of teen girls last October. One student claimed she was harassed by the group while walking home while the second student claimed she was beaten by the group while walking home from a party and had to be hospitalized, according to Temple News.

Temple News reports that police arrested three teenagers in connection to the beating.

Police have not yet confirmed whether the incidents in the fall are connected to the most recent attacks in March.

The March 21 attacks, the most serious of which took place at 17th and Norris Streets where a 19-year-old was beaten in the face with a brick, all occurred within blocks of Temple University's North Philadelphia campus.

The 19-year-old woman, who spoke exclusively to NBC10.com, was walking with her 20-year-old boyfriend around 6 p.m. when she says a group of girls and boys began taunting and touching them. When they pushed back, the girls allegedly started swinging.

The woman was hit twice in the face with a brick, the impact nearly knocking out her teeth. The assault forced her to get emergency surgery.

Police say there were two other attacks that took place within minutes of the brick attack.

NBC10.com talked to another Temple student, a 20-year-old junior, who said she was walking down her street when she was punched by a several girls. That alleged attack took place along the 1700 block of Willington Street, which runs behind Philadelphia Police's 22nd District headquarters, around 5:45 p.m. -- just 15 minutes before the brick attack.

The co-ed said she was typing a text message to a friend and when she looked up, the girls punched her several times. She claims she was able to escape after pushing them away however.

Investigators said the girls are also responsible for a third attack at 17th and Cecil B. Moore Streets in which they allegedly assaulted another woman who is a Temple University student.

Last Tuesday, investigators with Philadelphia Police's Central Detective Division said they had taken five teenage girls into custody for the assaults -- arresting one and questioning the other four. They ranged in age from 17 to 14-years-old.

On Wednesday, three of the teens were charged as adults.

Najee Bilaal, 16,15-year-old Zaria Estes, and 15-year-old Kanesha Gainey were charged with Aggravated Assault, Conspiracy, Possession of an Instrument of a Crime (PIC), Terroristic Threats, Simple Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person (REAP) for three attacks which took place over a 20 minute span last Friday evening, according to the DA's Office.

Bilaal and Estes are being held on $100,000 bail and Gainey on $75,000.

According to state court records, this is the sixth time Bilaal has been charged with a crime. She's previously been arrested for theft and criminal trespassing, among other crimes.

Detectives said the motive for the alleged attacks is currently unclear. They said the girls, who do not live in the neighborhood, took a bus into the area before the alleged attacks and left on a bus after. Police are also investigating how the girls met, because, police say, they all go to different high schools.

Temple was criticized by students and parents for not being notified about the off-campus attacks, only learning they happened after seeing a series of reports on NBC10.com and NBC10 News on TV.

The university said it reserves such campus-wide alerts for imminently dangerous situations that require immediate action.

Temple officials later announced they would be expanding bike patrols off campus and working with Philadelphia Police and Pennsylvania State Police to enhance security in the areas directly west of campus.


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