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Police: Student was punched, spat on before dorm stabbing

A Georgia State University student walked up to another student, spat on him and punched him before the suspect stabbed him multiple times in a university dorm, the school’s police chief said Thursday.

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University and Atlanta police responded to a call about the fight Tuesday, GSU police chief Joe Spillane said.

Nakia Roach was found in the the laundry room of a dorm with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition. The other student, Sean Rowtham, was located by police in the dorm lobby and detained.

“After interviewing witnesses,” Spillane said, “it was determined that the two males know each other and had an ongoing dispute. The male who was stabbed was actively looking for the male who stabbed him.”

When he found him, Spillane said, Rowtham was holding a knife at his side.

Rowtham took the knife out as soon as Roach walked into the laundry room, but he didn’t hold it in a threatening way, according to the chief.

“Roach is about twice as big as Mr. Rowtham,” Spillane said.

Rowtham has been charged with aggravated assault in the incident. Roach has been charged with simple battery.

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