Campus Insecurity

I had a different topic planned for today, but I need to write about this for my sanity's sake and I know you'll have words of wisdom in return.

After yesterday's post published about my encounter with a frightening man on the beach, I was given a few tips by friends and readers.  For instance, Di informed me where I could buy pepper spray, and I promptly ordered some.  (Why have I never thought of having it in my purse or in my photog backpack before?)  

Sue told me about an awesome self defense course she recommends.  I'm not sure it's something I'd be able to do with my disability, but I forwarded the link to my daughter in Boston because they offer courses there too.  

Personal safety was weighing heavily on my mind yesterday.  

I was thinking about how much more vulnerable I am now, since the car accident.  I was pondering pepper spray and self defense classes.  I was thinking about how I "lose myself" when I'm in photographer mode and need to be more aware of my surroundings.

And then an email from the Dean of my son's college arrived.  The email sent all my concerns about safety through the roof.

If you were reading here last month, you're already aware of the nightmare my college-aged son went through.  May I add, it was also a parental nightmare?

If you're a new reader, I will sum it up like this.  A student, PK, had a psychotic break and was making death threats against my son.  He was also very focused on my son's female friend, Pretty.  After a harrowing week, PK broke into a dorm in an attempt to attack Pretty.  He was tackled before he hurt her, and a fight ensued.  The police were called and PK was taken to a psych ward where he was involuntarily committed.  (There's a lot more to this story, but that's it in a nutshell.)

The last I heard, PK's family had arrived from Brazil and it was my understanding they had taken him out of school on "medical leave" for the remainder of the school year.  I presumed he was back in Brazil with his family. 

Since that time, Pretty broke up with her boyfriend.  She's now dating my son.  (Anyone want soap opera rights?)  I think the whole PK ordeal brought them together as more than friends.

In turn, PK's parents took PK out of the psych ward and didn't take him home to Brazil.  Instead, they sent him to live with his adult brother in New York.  Did they not want to bring him home?  I have no idea if he's getting any type of psychiatric help.  The school can't give us any information due to "privacy concerns."

PK has recently begun emailing my son, Pretty, and one of their friends.  From the emails, it's very clear PK's mental illness has escalated rapidly.

The emails make no sense, are completely delusional, and are incredibly frightening.  In them, PK says he's going to come back to the campus for Pretty because he must "fulfill a prophecy" and marry her.  He hasn't threatened my son (this week) except to make a vague reference saying "he better watch it."  My son has blocked PK from Facebook, but PK knows a lot of students at the college and has seen photos of my son and Pretty arm in arm via other student's Facebook pages.

PK now talks openly about having divine powers and embracing Satanism.  He says his mental illness diagnosis is nothing more than an "evil tactic."  He proclaims he "must marry" Pretty soon and writes Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) will be his best man at the wedding.  

PK is very focused on the following:  Pretty, my son, Mark Zuckerberg, the "conspiracy" against him, and "the brotherhood" of Satanism.

(By the way, Pretty has never dated PK and his relationship with her is entirely a figment of his illness/hallucinations/imagination.)

I could go on and on, but hopefully that gives you enough to realize how seriously ill PK is.  And yes, I do have sympathy for both PK and his family.  My sympathy, however, is secondary to my concern for the safety of everyone else involved.

I received multiple emails from the Dean of my son's college yesterday.  He, of course, can't release any contact information for PK's family to me.  He did contact PK's family, however, to make them aware of the latest flurry of emails.  (PK has repeatedly violated a "no contact order" from the school.)  PK's family has told the Dean PK will not make contact again.

His family has said that before, by the way.

The college has offered victim counseling for my son and Pretty.  I've urged my son to take them up on the offer of counseling.  He was hesitant initially.  I think he's now considering it.  The stress is weighing on him heavily, in part, because he feels he has to protect Pretty.  He's also trying to be a strong and calm "rock" for her because she's very scared.  (Who wouldn't be?)  I think my son is incredibly worried for her safety and very fearful for his own as well.

PK is over five hundred miles away from them, as of yesterday.  He's also expressing his determination to get back to them.

The scary thing is, we just don't know what PK's REAL situation is.  Does he have access to money?  His family is very wealthy, but does he (personally) have access to money right now?  Is his brother keeping close tabs on him?  Could he travel back to North Carolina where my son and Pretty are?  Could he get his hands on a weapon?  

Or perhaps, his family has taken away all access to cash – limiting his options to go anywhere?

Is he a danger, five hundred miles away – or is he not?

We just don't know and that is part of the fear –

The not knowing.

© Twenty Four At Heart

22 Responses to “Campus Insecurity”

  1. karen

    OMG, I can’t believe he was left with his brother – and that your son and pretty are steal dealing with this. For some reason I thought he was in Boston, closer to me – (I’d go get them both if you needed me to in an emergency). Well… Atleast PK is atleast about 10 hours away from them if he’s in NY and they are in the Carolinas.

  2. Di

    Make sure your son is carrying mace also! The thing is, PK could be anywhere and making his posts/rants/threats from an iPad or laptop. Not to put fear in you, just so you arm your son with the tools to keep himself safe.

  3. KirstyB

    Oh my goodness! This is such a scary situation, especially for a mama who is so far away! Does it seem like the school is taking it seriously? PK sounds like a lunatic…a very scary, unpredictable lunatic. I would tell your son and Pretty to make sure they are never alone on campus. Can they move dorms? What does Pretty’s parents have to say in all of this? Hugs to you and yours! I’m praying for safety!!

  4. Kate D.

    Wouldn’t he be in the states illegally since he is not in school and not a citizen. Can’t he be deported? Since the threats are across state lines can you contact the FBI? I seriously think that you should contact the FBI and tell them the whole story and ask them for advice on what to do. Call your local FBI office and they will forward everything to the right office.

  5. WebSavvyMom

    –>Do they have a restraining order filed with the off-campus police yet? I would recommend this as well in case something happens away from campus.
    The stress will eat away at your son and Pretty, the counseling will help them both. Bless their hearts.
    I worked with aggressively mentally ill teenagers, their behavior is erratic, dilusional and violent at times. (When I was 8 months pregnant, one of these teens tried to kick me in the stomach.)

  6. Denise

    I believe this falls under the jurisdiction of the FBI since he is not a citizen. I would not wait to contact the local OC office and get him out of the country asap. It’s true with crazies…where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  7. Jan

    Call the United States State Department, inform them of what is going on, and ask that he be forcibly deported. He is a dangerous NON-CITIZEN and any privileges he has to be in this country should be revoked.

  8. Judi

    I agree that calls to the FBI and State Department are in order. Threats across state lines, stalking, etc. are serious federal charges. The school no longer has sole jurisdiction (or an effective way to handle this, unfortunately). So sorry this is still hanging over all of your heads.

  9. Kristan

    Eesh, it never ends… Is there a way for any of the Facebook friends to get contact information on this guy’s brother? Then maybe you could talk to him and get more information, which would make you better prepared and informed, which as you said would be less scary. I’ll refrain from saying or suggesting anything beyond that, since I was horribly wrong about this kid the first time. I know that you have been handling things extremely well and I have no doubt that you will continue to do so. Good luck!

  10. Missy

    I second what Judi says. This is way beyond the scope of the school. I am scared for both families.

  11. Redneck Mommy

    Ack. I have nothing. But I like the idea of contacting any authorities you can to enlighten them of this situation. It may be the only power you have in this crappy situation.
    I won’t lie. I’m scared for all of you. My thoughts are with you all.

  12. Jane

    I’m originally from NC and I’m kind of shocked that the dean of the school hasn’t already called the FBI. Most schools go overboard to avoid the kind of thing that happened at VA Tech. Seriously, call the FBI today. That man (not kid if he’s over 18) is engaging in terrorist activities, even if he’s mentally ill. He needs to be deported for the safety of everyone.

  13. Issa

    This is just scary. All of it. I’m with everyone else. Call the FBI and the state Department. The fact is, he’s not a US citizen, so he could be sent home and not allowed to return for doing this type of thing.

  14. sandi

    Do you know for certain he isn’t a US citizen? Are we just making assumptions of that since his family doesn’t currently reside in the US? Regardless of his citizenship, I think serious action needs to happen. Have you talked to Pretty’s parents? What do they think? Are they in NC, or out of state as well? I HATE this!!! Do you want me to fly to NC with you?

  15. Kelly

    This situation SUCKS. I’d try to get a restraining order. It may not help but its a start.

  16. unmitigated me

    I’m with Kate D. Threats across state lines are a federal offense. You and briefcase should go to the local FBI office NOW, and take copies of the emails.. They will look at the immigration issue, too, through the INS. OC FBI can easily contact NYC FBI.

  17. linda

    aagggghhhh. so sorry this continues. I’d be out of my mind like I know you are. Hope PK chokes on a chicken wing.

  18. Annette

    How in the hell is a mentally unstable stalker allowed to remain in this country? I would be contacting the police and immigration and my local congress people…whoever it takes to get some attention to the matter. If he is no longer in school shouldn’t he be sent back? Do you have to get a lawyer in the state where he resides? It’s obvious the family isn’t doing anything about him and the school probably can’t now that he is no longer there. WTF??!!! Any texts, emails and calls should be provided to the police along with a complaint of stalking, though I wonder what good that will do.

  19. Jill

    Are you F*CKING kidding me??? Like your son, his GF, or you need any of this crap anymore? WHY are they not doing anything about this?????????????/
    I’d be angry. And crazy. And hightail my ass out there so fast that Dean’s head would spin.
    Thinking of you … xxx

  20. Jason

    Yikes, yikes, yikes! This is nuts. This is like a movie, I hate to say.
    I bought pepper spray for my 18 year who lives in San Francisco because she told me the other day nonchalantly that she had to “pull a knife on some guy who was following (her).” She said she scared him away.
    That night I found exactly 879 more gray hairs on my head.

  21. DuchessOmnium

    Crumbs, Suzanne, I can totally understand why you are worried. I wish I could say something comforting, but 500 miles away is a very short distance — barely more than a shuttle plane flight. You don’t have contact details for this kid, but the school does. Get a court order that says he cannot contact your son or Pretty — a college order is not good enough. If he is making threats a court order should be possible. Then if he violates the court order the school will have to give the police the contact details. If your son and Pretty were safe and just needed to deal with their worries, counselling would be in order, of course. Right now I think more than counselling is required. I’m so sorry that this is still going on.


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