NEW BRUNSWICK — The fugitive who had been wanted on charges that he beat a Rutgers University student and tried to rape her outside a building on the College Avenue campus surrendered Saturday morning.

Michael P. Knight, 37, turned himself into police in Newark, where he lives, a day after he had been identified and charged Friday in the May 4 incident that rocked the community.

Knight is accused of following the student around 3:30 a.m., hitting her over the head, severely beating her and dragging her. His attempted rape was thwarted by passersby who intervened, officials said. When one of the men gave chase, Knight threatened to shoot him, police said.

The victim was treated and released from the hospital.

Knight, who already has an extensive criminal record, has been charged in this incident with aggravated assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, kidnapping, endangering his injured victim, and threatening to kill the man who pursued him.

He is being held on $1 million bail as he awaits trial.

Knight also was on the run from charges in South Brunswick, where he was accused of committing burglary.

He was indicted in 1997 with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property in Union Township. He copped a plea to the stolen property charge and was sentenced to three years.

In 1999 he plead guilty to possession of cocaine and resisting arrest and eluding police in a motor vehicle and was sentenced to five years.

In 2006 he was indicted on charges of disarming a police officer, but pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and obstructing the administration of law. A year later he was charged with possession and manufacturing of heroin on or near school grounds in Newark, as well as burglary. In another plea deal the encompassed two years worth of criminal charges, he was sentenced in 2007 to three years with one year of parole ineligibility on the drug charges and four years on the remaining charges, according to court records.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email

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