Juwan Royal, an African-American student attending Lehigh University, came down with a mysterious illness his senior year after being paired with international student, Yukai Yang, as roommates.

The Washington Post describes Royal’s sickness as “hitting randomly like lightning strikes. Pain shot from the 22-year-old’s hips to his toes. He felt a burning sensation in his mouth and, on one occasion, was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance after vomiting for 45 minutes straight.”

Royal’s room was also vandalized, with Yang telling his roommate he had no clue how it happened. His television and bed were damaged, with the vandal also writing the n-word followed by “get out of here,” on Royal’s desk.

Police believe Yang is responsible for the damage, racist remark and Royal’s illness, saying he was slowly poisoning him with a dangerous chemical.

“This was over a period of time with small amounts of poisoning occurring,” Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said. “It was added to food and drinks in the refrigerator.”

Yang has been arrested and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment. Both Mr. Royal and investigators still don’t know Yang’s exact motivation for the horrific acts, but blatant racism is clearly a factor. 

“Mr. Royal was as somewhat dumbfounded by this as anyone else,” Assistant District Attorney Abraham Kassis told reporters. “He believed they had a fairly cordial relationship as roommates.”