Surveillance Video Released Of Suspect In Assault, Robbery Of Temple University Professor

By Syma Chowdhry, Jenn Bernstein and Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– Eyewitness News has now learned the name of a Temple University professor who was assaulted and robbed on campus Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Philadelphia Police released surveillance video of a suspect wanted in connection with the assault and robbery, which apparently happened around noon Tuesday in Anderson Hall.

The 81-year-old victim, who sources say is part-time Professor Gopal Veeraswamy, was in a shared office on the second floor when police say the suspect came from behind and attacked.


According to police, the suspect entered his office and punched the professor in his face, demanding his wallet while he placed a knife to his throat.  Police say after taking the professor’s wallet, the suspect then punched him in his face again, causing lacerations to his face and head, as well as swelling and bleeding to the professor’s brain.

The professor was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was reportedly in good condition as of Wednesday morning.

Still, Kathleen Goodman, a student, says, “It’s a little scary that an actual professor got attacked, not just a student or someone walking around.”

Frank Leib, whose office is along the hallway says, “There were blood stains along the hallway.”

Leib arrived a few minutes after the attack.

He says the victim is a part time professor of Intellectual Heritage.

“He did not look physically strong and probably from a certain point of view, he would be an easy mark. He’s very likable, friendly sweet kind of guy.”

Anderson Hall is an academic building that has one entrance where you just show you student ID to enter, but there are several exits with surveillance cameras.

Ray Betzner, a University spokesman says, “We’ve beefed up security in and around the buildings in this area.”

School officials sent out an alert about 30 minutes after the attack.

Josh Good, a student, was in the building when officials sent out the email alert.

He says despite the incident, he feels safe on campus.

“Still I’m not terribly afraid or anything,” Good said,

Police are now relying on surveillance cameras to identify the suspect.

The suspect is described as an African American male, 35-to-40-years-old, with a mustache and close cropped beard.  He was last seen wearing a dark colored jacket, blue jeans and a lanyard around his neck.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP or 773847 or call Central Detectives Division Special Investigations Unit at 215-686-3047.


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