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.


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  1. [box of enraged comments]


  2. Regional War on Terror.

  3. In the future, everyone will be a terrorist for 15 minutes.

  4. I have a hard time getting enraged because the idiot behaved like – uh – an idiot. He was using a parking permit that wasn’t his, so he knowingly was violating the university’s parking rules – attempting to get something for nothing – and then he gets pissed when he gets caught?

    So to show his pissy little displeasure, he pulls a jagoff stunt.

    And how did he get the boot off his car?

    1. And clearly this interpretation of the law will rid the land of idiots once and for all.

      Mission Accomplished!

    2. A little lemon pledge will take off most ANYTHING.

    3. I could see a hefty fine and some community service for that stunt, but 8 years in the rapecage?

      1. He won’t get 8 years or even 8 days. Probation and a fine. Nothing to see. Move along.

    4. So you think his actions should warrant a criminal charge and potentially 8 years in prison? How exactly would such punishment fit his “crime”?

      It’s absurd that his “crime” is simply doing something that may be done in the course of committing an actual crime, even though he is not committing any sort of crime otherwise.

      Why not just criminalize being intoxicated period? Why bother waiting til someone starts driving a car before saying their actions are criminal? We may as well just criminalize all the actions that could lead to someone committing a crime in the first place. Brilliant!

      1. I think they have this in Cuba. Its called “pre-criminal activity.” I’m sure if you asked Fidel he’d tell you it works extremely well.

        1. I think you’re right. Though I bet you can leave an unmarked package unattended anywhere you want.

      2. So you think his actions should warrant a criminal charge and potentially 8 years in prison?

        Hmm… let me see. Re-reading my post, trying to see where I said that… noo… still not seeing it. Hmm…

        1. If you don’t want people to infer, then you should be explicit. Read your post a third time and tell me where you indicated in any fashion that what is happening to this kid is just.

    5. I’d also like to point out that laws against leaving boxes that may potentially contain explosives would not deter someone who intends to actually leave a box containing explosives. All such laws would do is make criminals out of otherwise innocent people with no intention of harming people or property.

      It’s like thinking banning guns on school property prevents school shootings. If someone is hellbent on murdering other people, they’re already well past the point of caring whether they’re allowed to carry their weapon of choice to a place where it is not allowed.

      1. But we need those bans of guns on school property, for additional charges against any shooters.

        Since the consequences of shooting up your school aren’t severe enough on their own…..

    6. Who fucking cares if a friend loaned him a parking permit. Do you have any IDEA how much campus parking permits run? Any where from 200-400 a quarter at some of the big Degree mills.

      They’re just mad he was able to remove the boot, and out witted them. perhaps placing it in a box wasn’t the most thought through plan, but I bet you it was sitting in his car.

      I shared mine all the time, it was already bought and paid for.

      Its not Sun’s fault that this country is so jacked up on fear.


      Some one left a MONSTER energy drink, closed, with the receipt on it. and People were honest to Isis freaking out.

      So I picked it up, cracked open the top and dumped it in the bus trash.

      Everyone was flipping out. Dead serious. Over a CLOSED soda sitting on a bus seat. Three people said…”Oh my god…it could be a bomb!”

      People deserve their fear if they are too stupid to think for themselves.

  5. Terroristic mischief is
    A: A major tenet of the Dennis the Menace canon.
    B: A 1987 album by Poison.
    C: A Ben & Jerry flavor.

    1. What would be in the Terroristic Mischief flavor? Definitely some sort of nuts–ooh, I know, betel nuts. And maybe grenadine for its blood-like color. Maybe date ice cream for that Middle Eastern flair?

  6. By that standard, I could’ve been arrested in college the day I left my unattended backpack in the student center. Who knows what insidiously dangerous devices might’ve been hidden within?

    1. You’re lucky SugarFree didn’t nab it.

  7. So we should be held responsible for the actions of overpaid, underworked government employees who over react and use fear to keep people in line?

    1. It worked in Boston with the dire threat of ATHF.

  8. For people spooked this easily, stay home.

  9. Isn’t there a great deal of narcissism implied when you assume that someone wants to bomb you or your organization? I find it highly doubtful that anything would make Purdue worth the time and effort.

    1. But– but– Neil Armstrong!!!

    2. And Mike Alstott.

      1. Hey, who-dat Drew Brees!

    3. And most of all, Stephanie White-McCarty.

  10. Having dealt with Purdue University’s police, I find this completely unsurprising.

    1. Yeah, Purdue’s police are quite the joke. I wonder if they still have their black firebird that the drug cops drove around in, showing off, trying to pick up the freshman girls.

  11. Is “Terroristic Mischief” the more or less serious charge of “Terrorist Hijinks?”

    1. Mischief sounds more menacing than Hijinks, so i would say its the more serious charge.

  12. …the specific criminal charge against the student is unimportant — any serious criminal charge would do.

    The police & campus bureaucrats wanted to punish that student for disrespecting them and their parking rules.

    Since they couldn’t legally arrest him for a single parking-ticket (a non-criminal offense) they invented a bogus terrorist charge to jump him… and drag him off to jail in cuffs.

    That ‘arrest experience’ is significant punishment in itself for most college kids.

    The cops knew the terrorist charge would never stick in court– but they got to severely hassle the kid… and knew they were immune from any legal consequences.

    Happens everyday to innocent people, hundreds of times. In cop-slang– “you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride” {to a night in jail}.

    Cop “street-justice”.

    1. And when he’s applying for a job, he’ll have an arrest record. For terrorism no less.

      1. You only have to list felony convictions on job applications.

        1. It ain’t no misdemeanor if they are threatening him with 8 fookin’ years.

        2. Depends on the job.

    2. Bingo. Respect their authoritah or they’ll punish you as best they can. If the lawmakers create stupid fuck laws like this, cops and bureaucrats will find ways to fuck people with them.

  13. If the gubment overreacts, it’s all your fault, by definition?


  14. So just like we need something to prevent frivlous lawsuits, we need something to stop frivlous arrests.

    Civil liability would do IMO.

  15. This story is local for me. I couldn’t get past the Mischief part of the charges for me. The school loves to trump itself up. A few years ago there was a hostage situation in a dorm. A (I think expelled) student had his RA hostage and he killed him and himself. The fucking town has a SWAT team “tank”/APC that they brought in for…fuck, I dunno.

    1. Don’t confuse W. Lafayette & Lafayette with Purdue. Purdue is an actual institute of higher education, reknowned for it’s business school, agriculture program, and engineering programs. Lafayette & W. Lafayette are small Indiana farm towns who think they would matter even if Purdue wasn’t there.

  16. As we speak a Trader Joe’s in Orange CT has been evacuated because of a metal briefcase with the word CAUTION on it.

  17. Hmm. A Terrorist Prank.

    This reminds me — add “police arresting people for a crime that they have no real reason to believe was even committed” to my list of things to eventually correct.

  18. Good thing there weren’t any Lite Brites of Mooninites in the box.

  19. I’m sure evacuating the building was a complete over-reaction. And when over-reactions occur usually somebody ends up getting embarrassed. When somebody in the government gets embarrassed that usually means that somebody has to go to jail.

  20. racists.

  21. For a student named “Roy Sun”, …

    1. Very nice.

  22. “Sun’s probably guilty of being a bit too cute, here.” And of precisely nothing else, unless you live in the West circa 2009.

  23. The first set of commenters must have not had to recently deal with a large university’s parking services.

    As an Editor in Chief of a university’s student newspaper, people outside the system have no clue of the financial and logistical hurrdles the government run schools place on their customers to subsidize poor budget decisions.

  24. Being charged with this would likely make me build an actual bomb.

    1. Pretty sure my head would explode. Does that count as building a bomb?

  25. I thought them there boots was indestructible. Homer used a jackhammer on one didn’t he? Roy needs to make himself a how-to youtube video.

  26. (Stupidity^2*Embarassment)^Power=Multiple of Butt-ouch years

  27. “””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.”””

    Why would a reasonable person believe a car boot is a weapon of mass destruction?

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