A Kutztown University student was beaten to death on a downtown sidewalk early Friday and three men were arrested in the attack. The three were charged with assaulting Kyle Quinn, 19, and the district attorney said he anticipated filing homicide charges, pending an autopsy scheduled for Saturday.
A police officer in the small college town happened upon the scene shortly after 2 a.m., saw Quinn on ground and arrested the three men, who are not believed to be students, Berks County
District Attorney Mark Baldwin said.
"He had been beaten and was lying in a pool of blood on the sidewalk," Baldwin said.
Quinn, a sophomore history major from Warminster, had transferred to Kutztown after one year at Bucks County Community College, according to the university.
The attack happened on Main Street, not far from shops, bars, restaurants and off-campus apartments in downtown Kutztown. The quaint town has about 5,000 residents and lies in a rural area between Reading and Allentown.
It was Kutztown's first homicide since 1982 and the only the third since 1968, officials said.
Nick Santagata, 21, a fourth-year student at Kutztown, said he went outside for a cigarette early Friday, spotted Quinn on the sidewalk about a half-block away, and "heard a bunch of screaming and yelling."
Police showed up a short time later, tried to stanch Quinn's bleeding and took three men into custody, he said. One of the suspects had a mohawk haircut and kept saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" as he was being handcuffed, Santagata said.
Quinn lived on campus, but investigators "don't know where he would have been coming from or going to at the time," borough Police Chief Theodore Cole said.
The three suspects' names weren't immediately released. They were each charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and conspiracy.
Authorities were investigating what the motive might have been.
The prosecutor said investigators have witnesses who saw the attack.
Students and full-time residents say they have always felt safe in Kutztown.
"It's Amishville," said Marissa Petruzzi, 20, a junior from New Jersey, referring to Kutztown's location in Pennsylvania Dutch country. "This stuff doesn't happen here."
Erma Gajewski, who works at an antique store a few feet from where Quinn was beaten, said violent crime is practically unheard of here.
"I always felt safe in Kutztown. I still do, but this is scary," she said.
Kutztown's president, F. Javier Cevallos, e-mailed students at 10 a.m. Friday to inform them of Quinn's death. The university, one of 14 state-run colleges, says it has about 10,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students.
By Kathy Boccella, Michael Matza and Diane Mastrull
Inquirer Staff Writers
TIM LEEDY / Reading Eagle
Police gather evidence from the sidewalk along Main Street in Kutztown, where Kyle Quinn was found in a pool of blood. He was the son of a Warminster Township supervisor.
KUTZTOWN, Pa. - His favorite movie was Easy Rider, his favorite book was The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, his favorite musician was Bob Dylan.
Despite his counterculture bent, Kyle Quinn - the son of a Warminster Township supervisor - attended a very unradical college, Kutztown University, in the heart of Amish country. Here, early yesterday, he was found fatally beaten along quaint Main Street.
Police arrested three men who they say spent the night drinking in Shorty's bar, then chose their 19-year-old victim at random and left him unconscious.
A police officer happened to come by the scene shortly before 2:30 a.m. and made the arrests, Berks County District Attorney Mark Baldwin said.
Quinn "had been beaten and was lying in a pool of blood," Baldwin told reporters.
Quinn was pronounced dead at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown at 3:36 a.m. An autopsy was scheduled for today.
It was Kutztown's first homicide since 1982, officials said. This borough of 5,000 residents, nestled in farm country between Reading and Allentown, has had only three murders since 1968.
Quinn lived on campus, but investigators "don't know where he would have been coming from or going to at the time," borough Police Chief Theodore Cole told the Associated Press.
Authorities were investigating a motive.
The suspects were identified as Terry D. Kline Jr., who turned 22 on Thursday; his brother Kenneth R. Kline, 21; and Timothy R. Gearhart, 23. None of them is a student at the small state college.
The three were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and conspiracy, and arraigned before District Judge Wallace Scott, who set bail at $10 million each. The victim's parents were at the arraignment.
Murder charges were pending on the results of the autopsy, according to officials.
The attack took place about a half-mile from campus, next to the China King restaurant.
On Thursday night, the street's shops, bars and restaurants were jammed with returning students, merchants said.
Tina Souilliard, who owns Beads of a Feather, a bead shop across the street from Shorty's, said Thursday night was particularly busy on Main Street because it was the first night that the kids really went out, the first weekend they could party.
And Shorty's, a cavernous hall that formerly had been an antiques warehouse, was featuring dollar-a-draft night.
With pool tables, banks of TVs tuned to sports programming, and an entrance out back in front of its parking lot, Shorty's is the kind of bar that is popular with students and townies, although many of them come from Allentown, Reading and other nearby communities.
It's also the kind of bar where up to a dozen bouncers can be seen working on a busy night, and patrons are checked with a metal-detecting wand before being allowed entrance.
Erin Cooney, 27, a spokeswoman for Shorty's, declined to answer specific questions about what happened Thursday night.
While students have been known to get drunk and disorderly, "it's never escalated into something like this," said Louise Hutchings, a 24-year town resident.
"Even if people have words with each other, to carry it that far, to kill someone, it's hard to understand. I can't comprehend it, actually. If there are three of them and just him, it's just complete brutality."
A white flower and two white votive candles marked the spot where Quinn was struck down. Witnesses said they heard yelling and screaming, and saw Quinn motionless on the sidewalk.
Kenneth Kline, who has a Mohawk haircut, kept saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," as he was being handcuffed, according to one witness.
Quinn, a sophomore history major whose father is Leo Quinn III, chairman of the Warminster Board of Supervisors, had been on the campus for less than two weeks. He transferred to Kutztown after taking classes at Pennsylvania State University and a summer course at Bucks County Community College, according to the university.
An older brother, Dennis, also attended the university, said Robert T. Watrous, dean of student services and campus life.
Quinn was a graduate of William Tennent High School in Warminster, where he played varsity soccer in his senior year.
"He was just a really good athlete and a great kid," said athletic director Lou Pacchioli. "He was a very quiet kid" and a good student.
Last night on Centenary Lane in Warminster, where the Quinns live in a two-story red-brick Colonial, neighbors gathered on their front porch to console each other and await the arrival of the victim's parents and brother. So tight are the residents that one of them went from house to house yesterday morning delivering the bad news, and a planned block party may be postponed or canceled, said Jack Van Dusen, who lives across the street.
"I couldn't believe it, that somebody would just beat him up for no reason," he said. "I'm shocked this would happen to a boy like that."
Kyle Quinn, whom Van Dusen recalled trick-or-treating with his brother and their sister, Caitlyn, as a youngster, never got into any trouble, he said.
Steve Macrone, who emerged from the Quinn house to speak on behalf of the block of about 20 homes, said the victim's sister was inside but too devastated to talk.
"This is a kid that did everything right in his life and he just came across some bad people," he said. "And it's just hurting everybody."
According to a police affidavit, the three suspects were among a group of five men who had driven from Allentown to Kutztown. One of the men, Derik Houser, told police that they had been in a bar, and that after leaving, the Kline brothers and Gearhart "got out of the car and started causing a problem with a group of kids."
Houser said he saw Terry Kline throw a punch at Quinn and yell expletives at him.
Though Quinn barely had time to settle into his Bonner Hall dorm room, Watrous, the dean, said one faculty member who had met with him "spoke of him in glowing terms."
"We're still in a state of shock. We had counselors and campus ministers out and about all day long," he said.
Kutztown's president, F. Javier Cevallos, called the beating a "senseless, isolated, random act of violence" and urged students to be vigilant. He e-mailed students at 10 a.m. yesterday to inform them of Quinn's death.
Quinn's profile on the social networking site Facebook revealed a taste for the 1960s.
"I like a lot of other stuff but if WWIII started tomorrow I would only grab my Dylan albums," Quinn wrote.
Within hours of his death, friends began posting messages on Quinn's Facebook page.
"Don't be afraid of death, for it is only the beginning of the greatest adventure of all, The Unknown," wrote one.
"Life without you seems so empty. I know that you're smiling down on us right now with that great smile," wrote another.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
September 13, 2007
Flowers and candles mark the spot where Kyle Quinn, a student at Kutztown
University, was killed last Thursday. Some of the flowers are signed ''a local
citizen.'' Others come from businessmen or students. Others are anonymous.
Multiple generations of Kutztown residents have attended Kutztown University and
its on-campus lab school. I teach at KU, and have been touched by this tragedy,
a slaying right on our Main Street sidewalk. Last Thursday, we all lost one of
our own. And it feels, too, as if we've lost our town.
Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call
The people who most need to come together to discuss security concerns
for Kutztown University students met Wednesday in the wake of the fatal
assault of a sophomore. Among those in attendance were state Sen. Michael
O'Pake, D-Berks; state Rep. Carl W. Mantz, R-Lehigh and Berks; Kutztown
Mayor Sandy Green; Michael Weiser, chief of Berks-Lehigh Regional police;
Kutztown Police Chief Theodore Cole Jr.; and William F. Mioskie, the
university's police chief.
Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call
Family: Quinn was happy at Kutztown.
By Jan Hefler Top of page Article
Inquirer Staff Writer
The mother of Kyle Quinn, the Kutztown University sophomore who was found beaten to death not far from his dorm, yesterday described her son as a "kind and gentle soul" who wouldn't start a fight with another person.
"He was very happy to be there," said his mother, Denise Quinn, fighting back tears, as she stood in the driveway of their two-story colonial home in Warminster. "He had a lot of friends there, and his brother, Dennis."
She said it was her son's first time living away from home. It lasted only two weeks.
She felt sure that Kyle, 19, "a homebody" who loved poetry and Bob Dylan and who played guitar, would be safe at the small campus in Kutztown, home to 12,000 students, especially since his older brother is a senior there.
When Kyle was attacked by three men in their 20s early Friday, he was walking back to his dorm, alone, after visiting his brother's apartment. The two brothers were very close, she said.
"It was just random," she said, referring to the assault. She shuddered.
Police have arrested the three men and charged them with aggravated assault in the attack. The Berks County district attorney is waiting for toxicology reports on Quinn to determine whether to file homicide charges.
The suspects, all from the Allentown area, had been drinking at Shorty's Bar, a half-mile from the campus, and allegedly assaulted Quinn as he walked down Main Street. The men were not students.
"Kyle is nonconfrontational. He wouldn't have antagonized anyone," said Denise Quinn, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at the Everett McDonald Elementary School in Warminster.
She said her son was a history major and also was interested in philosophy. "He talked about being a professor," she said.
Denise Quinn said her son had played varsity soccer at William Tennent High School and also took up karate.
"I think he was up to a purple belt. I'd have to go up to his room to look," glancing at the upstairs, and then taking a deep breath.
Quinn spent his freshman year commuting to Pennsylvania State University in Abington.
"He was a homebody; he initially wasn't sure what he wanted to do and didn't want to go away his first year," Denise Quinn said.
That changed this year. He couldn't wait, she said.
Kyle Quinn arrived on campus two weeks ago to get set up.
His funeral is set for 5 p.m. today at St. John Bosco Catholic Church in Hatboro.
"He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Patricia Quinn, his paternal grandmother, who also lives in Warminster. "It's so horrific - he was such a sweet, wonderful, kind-hearted boy who wouldn't hurt a flea."
The grandmother remembers the last time she saw him. "He was here to say good-bye before he and his brother went to Kutztown. He was so excited to leave the home and go off to college," she said, through small sobs.
Patricia Quinn said the family is devastated. "It's your worst nightmare - but God gets you through," she said.
Kyle's father, Leo Quinn 3d, was unavailable for comment. He is divorced from Kyle's mother. He is the chairman of the Warminster Township supervisors.
At the Five Ponds Golf Club Restaurant, where Kyle Quinn was a dishwasher and kitchen worker the past three summers, Joanne Cosby, the banquet coordinator, was still distraught.
"I cannot believe it. This was not provoked. He would never mouth off to anyone or ever raise his voice. But he would be one who would stand up and help somebody," she said.
Cosby said that Kyle Quinn, his older sister, Caitlin, and brother all worked at the restaurant in recent summers. They were a close-knit bunch, she said.
Cosby said that Kyle and his brother stopped by to get their final paychecks before leaving for Kutztown.
"They had the van all packed. We were teasing Kyle that he's not a little boy anymore and he's going off to college," she said. "He was so enthusiastic."
It was the last time she saw him.
Three Allentown men will be charged today with killing university student Kyle Quinn.
By Manuel Gamiz Jr.
Of The Morning Call
October 26, 2007
Three Allentown men accused of attacking Kutztown University student Kyle Quinn will be charged with murder today, a day after the Lehigh County coroner ruled Quinn's death a homicide.
Scott Grim, the coroner, said Thursday that Quinn died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. He said the results of toxicology tests arrived this week and showed that nothing in Quinn's system contributed to his death.
Berks County District Attorney Mark Baldwin said Timothy Gearhart and brothers Terry and Kenneth Kline will be arraigned this morning on new charges of homicide, first-degree murder and third-degree murder and two counts each of aggravated assault and conspiracy.
The suspects have been in Berks County Prison since Sept. 7, when they were arrested on assault charges. Baldwin said they participated in the beating death of Quinn on Kutztown's Main Street early that morning.
Keith Fister, chief county detective, said he would not say how many times Quinn was hit and by whom, or whether the fatal injury was caused by fists, his head hitting the sidewalk or another manner.
Fister said authorities will provide more information and answer questions at a news conference today after the arraignments by District Judge Gail Greth of Fleetwood.
Kutztown police found Quinn, 19, of Warminster Township, Bucks County, lying in a pool of blood around 2:30 a.m. He was walking from his older brother's apartment to his dorm room when the three men accosted him, police said.
Quinn was pronounced dead at 3:36 a.m. at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, officials said.
Kenneth Kline, 21, of 930 Oak St., Terry Kline, 22, whose Allentown address is not known, and Gearhart, 23, of 124 S. 10th St., at first were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. Two other men with them were not charged.
The Klines and Gearhart have been jailed under $10 million bail each and were to face a preliminary hearing Tuesday, a date that probably will change with the murder charges.
Under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, first-degree murder denotes an intentional killing. Third-degree murder covers all other kinds of killings, except those committed during a felony, which is second-degree murder.
Quinn's parents, Leo and Denise, were not ready to comment Thursday, according to his sister.
Authorities have said the Klines and Gearhart were looking for a fight the night Quinn was killed. They and two other men, Derek Houser and Andrew Weber, both 22, were friends from Allen High School, according to family members, and drove into Kutztown late Sept. 6 to celebrate Terry Kline's 22nd birthday.
After drinking at Shorty's Bar on Main Street, they piled into Houser's car and drove down an alley, stopping at Main Street, court documents say. The Klines and Gearhart got out of the car and started causing problems with ''a group of kids,'' Houser told police. Houser and Weber stayed in the car.
Houser told police he saw the Klines and Gearhart yelling at a man he did not recognize, and that he saw Terry Kline punch the man and the man lying on the sidewalk with blood around his head, according to an arrest affidavit. Weber said he remembered Terry Kline cursing at the man lying on the sidewalk, the affidavit says.
Moments after the three men got back into the car, a Kutztown police corporal pulled them over.
Since Quinn's death, described by Kutztown University President F. Javier Cevallos at the time as ''a senseless isolated random act of violence,'' safety has been of paramount concern at the university and in the borough.
A neighborhood watch for the area around the university was reactivated, police have beefed up patrols downtown, and borough and university officials are pushing for video cameras to help keep an eye on Main Street.
Friends have said Quinn had a black belt in karate, loved soccer and the outdoors and Bob Dylan's music. He was a sophomore history major and had transferred to Kutztown after a year at Penn State-Abington. His brother, Dennis, is a senior at Kutztown and also a history major.
Baldwin, the district attorney, said Berks detectives and Kutztown police worked together on the investigation. They were assisted by Kutztown University police, Berks-Lehigh Regional police and Grim, who was involved because Quinn died in a Lehigh County hospital.
Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call
12:29 PM EDT, October 26, 2007 Top of page
Three men charged with murder in the death of a Kutztown University student last month used a large wooden chair or table leg when they hit him, the Berks County district attorney said today.
District Attorney Mark Baldwin said at a press conference the laceration on the side of the head of victim Kyle Quinn was consistent with the use of the chair or table leg in the fatal blow.
The press conference followed today's arraignment of Timothy Gearhart and brothers Terry and Kenneth Kline on charges of homicide, first-degree murder and third-degree murder and two counts each of aggravated assault and conspiracy. They're being held in Berks County Prison without bail.
According to the arrest papers, Quinn was talking on a cell phone on Sept. 7 as he walked along Main Street in Kutztown. Kenneth Kline asked Quinn who he was talking to and Quinn said, "Not you," the documents said.
Kenneth Kline took Quinn's phone and threw it across the street. Afterward the men argued, then Gearhart hit Quinn with the chair leg, the documents said.
During their investigation of Quinn's death, authorities found a wooden chair or table leg near Main Street; it was sent to the state police crime lab for analysis. The results of that analysis are not available yet.
Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said yesterday that Quinn died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. He said the results of toxicology tests arrived this week and showed that nothing in Quinn's system contributed to his death.
Baldwin said he hasn't determined if he will seek the death penalty in the case.
-- Reporting by Manuel Gamiz Jr., The Morning Call
Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call
Of The Morning Call
October 27, 2007
Kyle Quinn was talking on his cell phone and walking back to his dorm room at Kutztown University early Sept. 7 when he came upon someone he didn't know, Kenneth Kline, who was urinating on Main Street, according to an arrest affidavit.
Kline, who along with his brother and a friend had moments earlier tried to pick a fight with another man, asked Quinn who he was talking to, the affidavit says. Quinn replied, ''Not you.'' Kline got mad, snatched the cell phone and threw it across the street.
He cursed at Quinn, a sophomore history major from Bucks County who had started attending the school less than two weeks earlier. Terry Kline, Kenneth's older brother, and their friend Timothy Gearhart joined in the cursing, trying to spark a fight, the affidavit says.
Without warning, Gearhart picked up a wooden chair or table leg and hit Quinn in the head, felling the 19-year-old instantly, a prosecutor said. Terry Kline kept cursing at Quinn, even as he lay bleeding and dying on the sidewalk, witnesses told police.
Earlier, after a night of drinking at a Kutztown bar, the three Allentown men were heard talking about how they wanted to cap their night of celebrating Terry Kline's 22nd birthday: ''Let's f--- someone up,'' they said, the affidavit says.
Quinn, of Warminster Township, was ''an innocent victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time,'' Berks County District Attorney Mark Baldwin said at a news conference Friday after Terry Kline, Kenneth Kline, 21, and Gearhart, 23, were charged with murder.
''This community has been devastated and torn apart in recent weeks as a result of this senseless violence and unprovoked attack on an innocent victim,'' Baldwin said.
Although the affidavit only notes the use of a stick, Baldwin said Quinn's head had several bruises, indicating punches were also thrown. He said the cut on the side of Quinn's head was consistent with the use of the chair or table leg in the fatal blow.
Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim ruled Thursday that Quinn died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. He said toxicology tests received this week showed nothing in Quinn's system contributed to his death.
Dr. Saralee Funke, a forensic pathologist at Lehigh Valley Hospital, said Quinn died of a massive hemorrhage due to a cerebral artery tear, the affidavit says.
During their investigation, authorities found a leg from a piece of furniture near the crime scene in the 100 block of W. Main Street and sent it to the state police crime lab for analysis, Baldwin said. The results are not yet available.
The Klines and Gearhart were charged with homicide, first-degree murder and third-degree murder and two counts each of aggravated assault and conspiracy. They were sent back to Berks County Prison, where each had been held under $10 million bail on assault charges since the day of the attack. Because this is now a homicide case, there is no bail.
Baldwin said he has not decided whether to seek the death penalty.
The three men and two others, Derik Houser and Andrew Weber, both 22, were friends from Allen High School, according to family members, and drove into Kutztown late Sept. 6 to celebrate Terry Kline's birthday.
After drinking at Shorty's Bar on Main Street, they got into Houser's sport utility vehicle. Houser told police he remembered the three men talking about hurting someone as they sat in the back seat.
They drove down an alley and stopped near the corner of Noble and Main streets, where the Klines and Gearhart got out to harass a ''group of kids,'' later identified as Michael McCusker and two of his friends, the affidavit says.
McCusker told police the Klines and Gearhart asked him, 'What the f---- are you looking at?'' and tried to start a fight. Before anything happened, a Kutztown police car pulled into the area and chased off the troublemakers. Later, McCusker said he saw the same men being arrested by Kutztown police.
Borough police Cpl. Paul Clery said that at 2:27 a.m. Sept. 7 he saw Terry Kline step over Quinn, who was motionless, on his way to get into an SUV.
Police interviewed the Klines and Gearhart, who gave similar statements, the affidavit says. They said they had stopped near Main Street because they had to urinate. Quinn, who was walking down the street talking on his cell phone, came upon Kenneth Kline.
The Klines and Gearhart said they yelled at Quinn, and Gearhart hit him in the head with a ''stick.''
Baldwin did not say how the others assaulted Quinn. According to state law, he said, the homicide and murder charges cover all three men because they were involved either as a ''principal or as an accomplice.''
Houser and Weber have not been charged, Baldwin said, because they never got out of the vehicle. He said they have cooperated with police.
During their arraignment before District Judge Gail Greth of Fleetwood, Gearhart and the Klines bowed their heads and sobbed, rarely speaking. When Greth asked them if they could read and write, Terry Kline said, ''I can't read'' and that he ''somewhat'' understands his rights.
The Klines listed their Allentown address as 930 Oak St., and Gearhart listed his as 919 S. 10th St.
At Baldwin's request, Greth dismissed an earlier criminal complaint charging the men only with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy.
Escorted out of the courtroom, they grimaced when they passed family members, and Terry Kline mouthed ''I love you'' to one of them.
Kyle Quinn's father, Leo Quinn, speaking on behalf of relatives and friends, said he would not comment at this time.
''[Kyle Quinn was] an innocent victim who was in the wrong place at the
Berks County district attorney, after arraignment Friday
of three Allentown men in Quinn's slaying
Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call
3 Allentown men held for trial in Kutztown student's death
By Manuel Gamiz Jr. Top of page
Of The Morning Call
November 20, 2007
The lawyer for two brothers accused in the beating death of Kyle Quinn said
no evidence was presented in court Monday to show his clients assaulted the
Kutztown University student.
Copyright © 2007, The Morning Call
University, Borough Take A Lesson From Tragedy
Students, faculty take active part in public safety.
By Kevin Amerman November 16, 2008
After a late night celebrating his 22nd
birthday, Terry Kline jumped up and down in an alley with his shirt off and
fists clenched, looking like a boxer preparing to fight.
ACT NOW-Before Events Leave You With No Choice
Leave your comments on the CompelledToAct Blog
Concerned about the drinking culture on campuses?
This site provides information as to the seriousness of the problem.
In loving Memory of Kristine Guest