Criminal Justice

Isn't "Terroristic Mischief" a Contradiction in Terms?


Last month, Purdue University student Roy Sun was arrested and charged with "terroristic mischief." He could face up to eight years in prison. His crime? He got a little too pissed off about a parking ticket.

Sun got the ticket and had a boot put on his car after local parking officials discovered he was using a permit that didn't belong to him. So Sun removed the boot, put it in a box with $20 (the amount of the fine) and the ticket, and put the box in the school's Visitor's Center, which also happens to be where students go to pay parking fines.

The school evacuated the center after finding the unattended box, then came to arrest Sun.

According to a local TV station…

Police said terroristic mischief is when a person knowingly or intentionally places a device with the intent to cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a weapon of mass destruction.

Sun's probably guilty of being a bit too cute, here. But terrorism? Given that he left a parking ticket that included his name and address in the box, it seems unlikely that he intended the package to be mistaken for a dirty bomb.