Monday, January 23, 2006

Felony Criminal Damage

I'm conflicted on whether or not to post this, but as major media outlets have mentioned it, I feel like I'm on safe ground here.

They've arrested the young man that scribbled Anti-Semitic language and swastikas... and bunnies... on the walls of a Northwestern dormitory after he confessed to the crime Thursday. He's posted bond and is back in Michigan with his family, and has been charged with institutional vandalism and felony criminal damage to property (both of which, from my perspective, are about as harsh as you can get on someone for drawing on the wall with sharpie, though what he drew certainly (and should have) factored into the charges) for which he faces a maximum of five years in prison. Northwestern has not stated whether or not he will be permitted to continue attending Northwestern University or what punishments the school itself might assess.

The weird thing about all of this is that I know the kid. I was his TA last quarter (and likely won't be ever again), and honestly can say that from my limited contact during lab, I'd not have guessed it was Neil. Picking up the paper today, my first thought was "but his labs were always so good", and his friends claim that this is totally out of character, which I believe. It can't go unpunished, but I honestly hope that Neil sorts all of this out and gets the help he needs to get back on a productive path.

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