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Lehigh Football Player Charged With Assault

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By Elizabeth Hur

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (CBS) — A local college football program is rocked – after the arrest of one player and the suspension of four players following a fight.

According to eyewitnesses, the victim, a fellow student, was rushed to the hospital with severe face and head injuries.

The allegations are reverberating throughout the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem.

19-year-old Russhon Phillips, a sophomore football player at Lehigh University was arrested accused of a crime that caught one eyewitness off guard and saddened a Good Samaritan.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything that crazy.”

“I see some kids getting hurt pretty badly and I tried to step in to intervene.”

Both men asked that we don’t use their names but shared with us what they saw.

“The guys who were the victims were patrons at the bar, they on their way out and kind of got into a situation with kids passing by.”

“One kid pulled the victim to ground and another one of his friends started stomping on his head.”

It happened down the block from Leon’s Bar in Bethlehem in the 400 block of East 5th Street early Wednesday morning. Police identified the victim as 22-year-old Paul Graham, also a Lehigh University Student.

Joseph Bianco, Leon’s Bar Owner said, “Shocked, I’m shocked. People I talked to said he wouldn’t hurt anybody, he’s a great student and they’re shocked that it happened to him.”

We’re told what began as an argument ended with Graham stomped and kicked. Wednesday night, University officials declined to comment but confirmed as a result of this off-campus incident, four football players have been suspended.

The Good Samaritan said, “It’s an unfortunate situation. I mean these kids have a bright future, going to a very good school.”

Wednesday night, prison officials confirmed Phillips remain jailed unable to post his $75,000 bail. We’re told he was charged with Aggravated Assault, Underage Drinking, Public Drunkenness and related offenses.

Police say their investigation is continuing and more arrests are pending.

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