Police: UTC Foreign Exchange Student is Robbed and Stabbed at Hi - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police: UTC Foreign Exchange Student is Robbed and Stabbed at Hixon Pike Bus Stop

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) An armed robbery suspect is on the loose after he stabbed a man and took off with his money. Police said the victim was stabbed while waiting at a bus stop around 9:30 p.m. on Hixson Pike not far from Lupton City, Tuesday night.

People who live beside the bus stop told Channel 3 they are shocked. They said the stop sits on a very busy road that is heavily patrolled. The neighborhood is said to be a peaceful community where neighborhood watches are active.

"That's very frightening, you just wouldn't dream of somebody being that brazen" said neighbor April Wyatt.

Investigators said Phani Tangirala, 22 was waiting on the bus when a man crept out of the woods behind him.

" He demanded money, stabbed him in the abdomen and at that point he fell to the ground," said Officer Tim Mcfarland, Chattanooga Police Dept.

The suspect wearing all black had his face covered with a scarf, Tangirala told police the man stabbed him, emptied his wallet and ran away.

"The way it's kind of exposed right there at the corner of Hixon Pike, it's such a busy road you think you wouldn't have to worry about crime because it's high traffic no matter what time of day," said neighbor Turri Lindstrum.

Friends said Tangirala is new in town. He arrived as a foreign exchange student from India just six months ago. They said he was filling in at work for a friend to make extra cash.

"That's terrible, he's a foreign exchange student coming to the land of freedom and he ends up getting stabbed...that's terrible," said Lindstrum.

"That's so sad... what does it say about us you know it's just pitiful," said Wyatt.

Officers searched but couldn't find a crime scene. At first glance they said the stabbing appears to be a random act of violence.

"It's hard to say it appears to be random we would like to think so we just don't know yet," said Officer Mcfarland.

The bus stop in question is beside heavy brush, it has no camera, no bench and no light. Neighbors said they'd like to see changes.

"It sucks that that bus stop is such a vulnerable spot it would be nice maybe if there was a small light or some sort of light source so it wasn't such a dark shaded spot," said Lindstrum.

Friends tell Channel 3 the victim underwent surgery Tuesday night, at this time he is in stable condition.

Police encourage neighbors to be on the look out for anything suspicious. The suspect

is only described as a man wearing all black around 5'10-6 feet tall. The victim told police his attacker had a strong odor of marijuana on him.

Police said their investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available.

If you have any information that could help call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525.

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