News in brief: 9.15 Issue


Police have arrested two men in connection to an armed robbery that occurred on Norris Street near 17th early Monday morning—one of whom fired at officers before being apprehended.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said 22nd District officers arrested one of the suspects after he came out of his house on Lehigh Avenue near 15th Street. The second suspect was arrested after he fired shots at officers while they were identifying the first male, he added.

A third man was arrested around 1:30 a.m. Sunday because he might be associated with the pair of suspects arrested Monday, Leone said. He and one of the men arrested Monday are juveniles, so their names and information will not be released, he added.

Leone said the second man arrested Monday might have been an adult, and is looking into information on that suspect.

A TU Alert was sent out about Monday’s robbery at around 2:15 a.m. Leone said that around 2 a.m., a student and non-student were walking on Norris Street when two men approached them. One of the men showed a black handgun and told the two to “give me everything,” Leone said. He added that after they gave the suspects their cell phones, the robbers fled west on Norris Street, and then north on 17th Street.

-Steve Bohnel


Two sexual assaults were reported on Main Campus last week involving students.

In the first incident, which was reported Sept. 7, a female student reported a sexual assault to Temple Police that occurred Sept. 1 at 1813 17th St. There was alcohol involved and the victim knew the suspect, a male student, said Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone.

Another sexual assault was reported on Sept. 8. A female student reported a sexual assault to Temple Police that occurred on May 7 on 15th street near Oxford. The victim knew the suspect, a male student, Leone said.

Leone added that police are awaiting the victim’s decision on how to best move forward.

-Jack Tomczuk


Xiaoxing Xi, the Temple professor accused of sharing trade secrets with Chinese scientists, had all charges against him dropped last week.

The former chairman of the physics department was arrested in May and charged with four counts of wire fraud for disclosing technology secrets to organizations in China. He faced a maximum fine of $1 million and 80 years in prison.

The technology prosecutors accused Xi of sharing was about a device he developed to grow superconductive films from magnesium diboride. These thin films allow computers to run more effectively.

Xi, a U.S. citizen born in China, came to Temple in 2009 following a stint as a physics professor at Pennsylvania State University.

The Justice Department dropped the charges due to a lack of substantive evidence, according to a report by the New York Times.

“I don’t expect them to understand everything I do,” Xi told the Times. “But the fact that they don’t consult with experts and then charge me? Put my family through all this? Damage my reputation? They shouldn’t do this. This is not a joke. This is not a game.”

The article in the Times suggests the government is targeting Chinese-born scientists as potential spies. Charges were also dropped in an Ohio case that implicated hydrologist Sherry Chen of stealing information and sharing it with Chinese officials.

-Jack Tomczuk


The partner of a Philadelphia Police officer who was killed in the line of duty northwest of Main Campus in September 2008 will represent the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in greeting the Pope when he arrives in the United States.

Richard Bowes, a member of St. Christopher’s Church in Somerton, was told the news at a Sunday mass, said Stephanie Brophy, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Bowes, along with his wife Bernadette and three children, will greet the Pope at Atlantic Aviation at Philadelphia International Airport Sept. 26 when Pope Francis arrives, Brophy said.

“The local parishes were looking to see if there are any families close to their parishes,” she said. “And the Bowes were one of the first to come to mind.”

Bowes was a member of the Highway Division of Philadelphia Police in September 2008, Brophy said. His partner, Patrick McDonald, stopped 27-year-old Daniel Giddings at 17th and Dauphin streets before a foot chase ensued, 6ABC reported. McDonald was fatally shot on Colorado Street near Susquehanna Avenue, while Bowes was shot in the leg near McDonald’s patrol car on 17th Street near Susquehanna.

-Steve Bohnel


City Council introduced legislation Thursday seeking to increase the number of gender-neutral restrooms throughout Philadelphia.

First District Councilman Mark Squilla introduced the ordinance, which would require current and future privately-owned single-stall restrooms to be designated gender-neutral.

“All people, regardless of gender identification, deserve to be able to meet their basic needs with dignity and safety,” Squilla said. “As Philadelphia prepares for the World Meeting of Families and the 2016 Democratic National Convention, both of which will be watched by the world, we should send a message declaring that all people, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, are welcome.”

Philadelphia officials will increase awareness about the legislation by using the hashtag #freetoPHL. If City Council passes the legislation and the mayor signs it into law, this hashtag will also be used to alert people which facilities are not complying with the legislation, as well as those who are in compliance.

-Steve Bohnel