Le­high Univer­sity stu­dent charged after in­ci­dent with loaded gun near cam­pus

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS - By Pamela Lehman

Le­high Univer­sity po­lice charged a stu­dent with ag­gra­vated as­sault after he fought with an of­fi­cer and had a loaded hand­gun and knife near cam­pus Mon­day.

Nile Hardy, 23, of New­town Square, Delaware County, is also charged with sim­ple as­sault, dis­or­derly con­duct, re­sist­ing ar­rest and ha­rass­ment. Hardy has not yet been ar­raigned on the charges, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties.

Po­lice say Hardy was armed with a loaded hand­gun and a knife and act­ing er­rat­i­cally near Far­ring­ton Square, a pop­u­lar gath­er­ing area on the north side of the cam­pus in south Beth­le­hem that is home to sev­eral restau­rants and the cam­pus book­store.

Ac­cord­ing to court records: Au­thor­i­ties say shortly after noon Mon­day, univer­sity po­lice Of­fi­cer David Kokinda was driv­ing on West Mor­ton Street when he saw a man, iden­ti­fied as Hardy, yelling on the side of the street.

An­other of­fi­cer stopped to see what was go­ing on, and they said Hardy “con­tin­ued to yell,” but moved to the side­walk and con­tin­ued walk­ing.

Po­lice say Hardy be­gan bang­ing on the glass driver side door of an oc­cu­pied ve­hi­cle.

Hardy yelled at the of­fi­cers to “kill him” and tried to punch the of­fi­cers sev­eral times. Po­lice say he hit Kokinda’s hand dur­ing the strug­gle.

Po­lice say they found a loaded semi-au­to­matic hand­gun as well as a kitchen knife in­side Hardy’s back­pack.

Ac­cord­ing to Le­high Univer­sity stu­dent records, Hardy is a grad­u­ate stu­dent study­ing fi­nance.

School of­fi­cials said they had been alerted ear­lier about a stu­dent dis­play­ing wor­ri­some be­hav­ior and were on their way to his res­i­dence when they wit­nessed the dis­tur­bance.

Hardy was taken to a hospi­tal for a psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion, school of­fi­cials say. He is on in­terim sus­pen­sion and not per­mit­ted on the Le­high cam­pus.

Le­high Univer­sity po­lice Chief Jason Schiffer ad­dressed the ar­rest in an email sent to the cam­pus on Tues­day.

In it, Schiffer wrote that there were “some con­cerns” that the ar­rest had not been re­ported as an ac­tive shooter nor had the cam­pus be placed on lock­down.

“This in­ci­dent — as fright­en­ing and un­set­tling as it was — was not an ac­tive shooter sit­u­a­tion,” the email states. “The stu­dent was not bran­dish­ing a weapon. LUPD of­fi­cers did not know he had one in his pos­ses­sion when they en­coun­tered him on the street, and the sit­u­a­tion was quickly con­tained.”

Po­lice say that in case of an “im­mi­nent, se­vere” threat to cam­pus safety, Le­high po­lice will share in­for­ma­tion through alerts and class­room an­nounce­ment sys­tems.

Morn­ing Call re­porter Pamela Lehman can be reached at 610-820-6790 or [email protected]

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