The observations and intervention of two St. Luke’s employees near the hospital’s Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township led to police charging an Indianapolis man with raping a Korean woman at a nearby hotel.
Christy Radcliffe and Wayne Steele of St. Luke’s Emergency and Transport Services told police they were driving in the area of Route 33 and Freemansburg Avenue early Wednesday when they saw a man “forcibly dragging and pulling” a woman toward a vehicle “while she was pushing, kicking, screaming and crying in an attempt to get away.”
The woman later told police – with the help of a Korean interpreter – that Radcliffe and Steele approached the man – Yuange Gao, 43 – and asked him what he was doing. He told them “he was not doing anything wrong.”
But police disagreed. They charged Gao with rape-forcible compulsion and sexual assault for an incident inside the , 2220 Emrick Blvd., in the northwest quadrant of the Route 33/Freemansburg Avenue intersection.
Gao was arraigned Wednesday morning by District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail.
A criminal complaint filed by township Patrolman Anthony Stevens tells the following story:
- Stevens got a call at 4 am from township Sgt. Darryl La Pointe that a rape victim was at St. Luke’s Anderson Campus off Freemansburg Avenue. He met with the 38-year-old woman whom he said is Korean and speaks “very limited English.”
- Through an interpreter, Stevens learned that the woman and Gao were traveling from New York on their way back to Indiana.They decided to get a hotel room for the evening and arrived at the Courtyard Bethlehem around 10 pm. The complaint does not specify the exact nature of their relationship.
- They had something to eat, the woman said, and then Gao came over to her – she was seated on the bed of a hotel room – and hugged her. She “immediately” pushed Gao away from her and stood up.
- She said Gao grabbed her, threw her against the wall, then threw her back onto the bed. He “forcibly” undressed her while she was pushing and shoving him to get away and telling him to stop.
- She said Gao then raped her, although she continued telling him to stop and get off her and pushed and shoved him to get free.
- Gao eventually got off her and went into the bathroom, she told police. She was under the blankets “and felt helpless, not knowing what to do.” She said she was “extremely scared, nervous and was crying underneath the blankets.”
- She tried to flee the hotel room but only reached the door when Gao grabbed her, slapped her in the face several times, then threw her back onto the bed. He again went into the bathroom.
- This time, she got dressed and was able to flee the room in bare feet. She ran into the roadway outside the hotel, but Gao got into his vehicle and eventually caught up with her. He grabbed and dragged her in an attempt to get her into the vehicle, while the woman was “kicking, punching and scratching” him.
- At this point in her story to police, she said two people – later identified as the St. Luke’s employees – observed what was going on and approached Gao. He said “he was not doing anything wrong,” got the woman into the vehicle and drove back to the hotel. Shortly after this, township police arrived.
- Stevens said he saw “numerous scratch marks and bite marks” on the woman’s neck, face and shoulders – “all being defensive wounds.”