May 24, 2007
By Sally Linder
President Roderick J. McDavis announced today that the criminal investigation into a student who exhibited threatening behaviors on campus is complete. The university has determined it will not press criminal charges.
The Ohio University Police Department criminal inquiry followed allegations that the student brought a firearm onto university property and committed other potentially criminal behaviors. One key issue influencing the decision was that the two-year statute of limitations may have expired, making the case difficult to effectively prosecute.
"I am very concerned about anything that undermines safety and security on campus," McDavis said. "Chief Michael Martinsen and his team did an extremely thorough job of gathering important information and witness reports. Their diligent work will help us as we go forward."
After consulting with city and county prosecutors, the Ohio University Police Department has decided not to press criminal charges, Martinsen reported.
An administrative inquiry will take place focusing on university employee conduct in this matter and policies surrounding such cases.
On May 3, McDavis suspended the student on an interim basis and banned him from all university property. The suspension remains in effect until the final disciplinary action of the university is complete.
Witnesses throughout the investigation corroborated allegations that since August 2003 the suspect has exhibited ongoing patterns of troubling and abusive behavior, including erratic flying, belligerence, injurious and disrespectful actions toward women, and activities involving knives and firearms. Witnesses described his behavior as "alarming" and "disturbing."
For instance, one witness described conversations with the suspect in which the suspect claimed he had guns with him all the time and shot them out of planes.
The student under investigation turned over to the OUPD an AK-47 assault rifle, three fully loaded clips containing hollow-point bullets and a 380-caliber pistol on May 3.
Many details of the case, including any disciplinary actions the university took, are protected by federal privacy laws.
"Our investigation confirms that the president was justified in asking for a deeper investigation of this individual's behavior," Martinsen said. "I share his concern that we must put safety and security first."