March 22, 2019 | 48° F

Student stabs 2 during 'Halloweekend,' is arrested, held on $735,000 bail

Photo by Dimitri Rodriguez |

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Leandry, a Rutgers student from Garfield, New Jersey, is accused of assaulting two victims in the lobby of Mettler Hall on the College Avenue campus, where the three were involved in a confrontation, according to an email sent to students by Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) Police Chief Kenneth Cop. 

The Rutgers Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call at around 6:30 p.m. on Friday and the RUPD initiated an emergency alert within minutes of arriving on the scene. 

The responding officers located Leandry in his room in Mettler, where he was then taken into custody. 

Leandry was charged with Attempted Murder, two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, according to the email sent by the RUPD. Leandry’s bail is set for $735,000, and he is now being held at Middlesex County Jail in North Brunswick.

The victims' names, one of whom was affiliated with the University, have not been released. Both victims were transported to the hospital, where they remain in critical condition.

The stabbing was spurred by an argument between two men in the residence hall lounge, according to ABC News.

"I saw them sitting on a couch and they seemed pretty casual. Then, all of a sudden they got up and started yelling at each other, and it was like a big fighting match and they were, it started to get physical and then yeah, it was like a knife fight," said University student Mikaela Dixon to ABC News.

Students walking home from parties saw the commotion as well. 

“As I walking back to my dorm, I heard a lady yelling on top of her lungs in front of Mettler Hall, so I ran to see what happened. I saw the stabber running back into Mettler, he was bleeding out and he collapsed,” said Tal Platt, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, to The Daily Targum.

Following this encounter, police arrived from all directions, Platt said. 

“It was kind of scary. Nobody wanted to go out of their buildings. At the time no one knew who was actually involved. There was a lockdown at Mettler, and then they were all kicked out of their building because they had to clean up all the blood and stuff,” he said.

Students inside of their Mettler Hall rooms had a different experience.

“I was in the building, but I was in my room doing work, so I didn’t really see or hear anything until after,” said Eytan Mendelow, a School of Arts and Science first-year student.

Mendelow was in his room when two police officers came in with guns and started looking around his room without saying anything. The officers told Mendelow to stay in his room and lock his door, he said.

After a while, Mendelow left his room and went to the windows to see what was going on outside. He said he heard rumors about the stabbing, but nobody knew the official story at the time.

“The person who was stabbed was already taken to the hospital, so I never saw him, but there was a large pool of blood right in front of the building on the path and in the lobby,” he said.

Residents were unaware of the situation until receiving a crime alert that told students the suspect was in custody and the area was secure, Mendelow said.

“Still the cops told us nothing,” Mendelow said. “After about 30 minutes, the cops told us to take what we need and to leave the building and that we couldn’t go back for at least five hours."

Other students encountered more graphic visuals of the incident.

Elijah Reiss, a School of Arts and Science junior, said he was walking to get dinner with his roommate when the two heard a loud scream.

“At first, I assumed, 'Oh, it's just Mettler being Mettler.' The dorm has a reputation for being loud and drunk, especially on Halloween weekend,” he said.

Then Reiss said he saw two men stumbling out, one covered in blood.

“For a second I thought, 'Oh. A Halloween display?' But then I saw his entrails coming out of his abdomen and I knew it was real. He was stumbling and screaming for his life. Yelling, 'I am going to die, I am going to die,'” Reiss said.

The victim’s friend was in utter panic and was yelling at the top of his lungs for an EMT. The whole quad could hear it and people started to come out, Reiss said.

“A girl was standing right by the door to the dorm looking at it all and calling the authorities. She said a man had been stabbed and his organs were exposed and he was profusely bleeding. She was eerily calm which made the whole thing even scarier,” he said.

Reiss and his roommate were in shock while the incident occurred. He recalled feeling helpless and thought he was watching the victims' last moments.

“As my roommate and I walked away, people asked what was up and I would say someone was stabbed. The look on their faces said it all. To think this could happen on our campus, let alone the safest space of our quad, was unimaginable,” Reiss said.

Noa Halff

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