Bad break-up? Western Albemarle student charged

news-wahsWestern Albemarle students learn that cyber threats can lead to felony charges.

Police have arrested 18-year-old high school student Patrick Dittmar Crider for allegedly threatening to kill other students at Western Albemarle High School.

According to the Daily Progress, in an online communication on January 13, Crider allegedly threatened to use a Glock to shoot four Western students, then declare his love for a girl believed to be his ex-girlfriend, and then shoot himself in the head.

Crider, who just turned 18 in November, was arrested January 14, and he remains held at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He'll have another bond hearing January 25, says his attorney, David Franzen.

"He is quite a young man," says Franzen. "Really just a boy. He's never experienced incarceration before. I think he's handling it quite well."

Albemarle School Superintendent Pam Moran notified Western Albemarle parents January 20 of the arrest.

"The charges stem from an online chat with another Western Albemarle student, during which threats against several current Western Albemarle High School students were made," writes Moran. "This conversation took place off school grounds and after school hours."

In 2006, four county students, including one from Western Albemarle, were charged with conspiring to blow up two high schools, charges so widely seen as unfounded that prosecutor Jim Camblos was turned out of office by voters a year later.

"I think this young man is not a threat," says Franzen, "and I think when all the facts come out, it will be clear he's not a threat to himself or others."


It's all about you, isn't it?

GSOE, do you know that he was jailed without bond on allegations? do you know that they did NOT obtain a warrant and gather evidence? because if you're saying he was jailed without bond on an allegation, you're saying that's all they had -- the allegation. No evidence. So I'm wondering how you KNOW this.

Congrats on the new little acolyte, though! Someone to commiserate with you over your tribulations.

All parents should talk to their children about texting posting and messaging. The foolish things we yelled at each other in the school yard in anger and confusion could not be printed and create a permenant record of our momenteary foolishness that civil authorities could use to ruin our lives. Explain to your kids how dangerous the new cyber records are.

Disgusted would be the first one crying about the cops if the kid went through with his threats. If he's such a outstanding student, he should know not to make such serious threats. It's not just a stupid comment; he had a plan and that's very scary.

I notice that Saddened and disgusted describe the Internet posting in vague and passive ways: he was incarcerated "due to an internet posting" (passive voice construction), he "said something very dumb on the internet": you mean he allegedly named four fellow students who he planned to shoot on a specific day.

"According to affidavits requesting search warrants, authorities learned of a Jan. 13 Internet conversation in which someone, believed to be Crider, threatened to use a Glock to shoot four specific students the next day, then declare his love for a girl and shoot himself in the head."

Yeah, I don't know: I was dumb at that age, but I didn't announce plans to shoot specific people with a specific gun. I'm not sure what the "old-fashioned way" would be for the parents to "address" this threat to shoot other people's children. If my child were one of the ones named, I don't think I'd sigh about young love and what a great honor this student had been a candidate for. I think I'd want more than just getting together with his parents to address it. I'd want it taken seriously as a threat. I think I'd feel the school and the county officials were being remiss if they just chuckled and said "ah, kids...I did a lot of dumb things as a youth too."

I guess I'm just tired of hearing about good families and great kids and how rough they have it, when those kids are just as liable to turn a dumb impulse into a horrific tragedy as anyone else is. I hear very few people lamenting how quick our society is to incarcerate the academically unsuccessful kids from single mothers in poor urban areas.

quote: "Gasbag, the shame isn’t that you have so may stories to tell, it’s that you only have one, that it features you, and that you interject it at every possible opportunity whether or not it has anything whats-so-ever to do with the original topic of the article whose responses you hijack for your own boring agenda."

Actually, I think this is only about the second time I have told the tale about the Albemarle County cop shoppe cop threatening to kill me, and nothing being done about it. And it most certainly is directly related to the content of this thread. When a crime takes place, different standards are used by the Albemarle County cop shoppe to determine as to whether or not the suspect will be arrested. This is the second time in recent memory that kids have been arrested for issuing death threats, yet they do not arrest their own when better and condemning evidence exists. :)

Somebody has ALWAYS been there and DONE that. Any guesses????

Me. I don't have the t-shirts to prove it, but I certainly have the money to go buy a few now. :)

I do have a rather cute license plate frame though. It is black with yellow lettering. Across the top it reads "You Can Prevail" and across the bottom it reads "When Suing Crooked Cops!" Here's a picture of it....

He's 18. That's a legal adult. He must be tried as one. His ALLEGED statements on the web (easily verifiable, as evidence of his commission or someone else's) had the effect of causing terror. The threatened actions are similar to those that occur on a daily basis, nationally and even recently locally, and therefore were credible threats. The threatened students and their families woulod have been foolish not to be duly terrorized by them. Seems like this matter is beyond the depth of our county constables.

Hoolarious, I am sorry I bore you. It's a shame I have so many true stories to tell, isn't it? :)

So, W A Parent, asuming evertything you say is true and accurate, and you make some very good points.... tell me why nothing was done when a uniformed cop with a gun on his side threatend to kill me please.

Let me state the facts again...
1- An on duty uniformed cop with the Albemarle County cop shoppe threatened to kill me. He was armed with a weapon at the time.
2- The threat was verbally made on the police frequency. The tapes were preserved. Other officers heard it and his sergeant on duty heard it.
3- He obviously had the tool needed to kill me, there's no question about this.
4- He clearly stated Hill and Wood Funeral Home would be responding to carry my body away.

We can't have double standards. A death threat is crime, or it isn't. Right? Or do we just charge civilians in these crimes?

and i hope that doesnt happen to even those who want to see him locked up for 40years for just saying he was going to do something even though he knew he would never go through with it, as he is a friend of mine, i am aware that not for one second, would he be capable of taking another human life, or his own. While I may take slack for defending him, can anyone really say they've never said anything that they didnt mean? and in the case of patrick not even in real life, but on facebook, where it is much easier to say things you dont mean. and i realize that his choice to use the words he did--even though he didnt mean to take action like his words dictated--was not a smart one. once again i stress, can you honestly say you've never said anything that you didnt mean?
======and even more food for thought, say if someone were to find my facebook password and say the things he said, pretending to be me, i could be in prison at the moment just like he is, even though i never showed the slighest intent, nor di intend to act out the words said

Still for more reasons. Folks, this is not about class warfare...I have no idea what color this 18 yr. old is that we are talking about, just know that he's in jail for something said on the internet. I thought we all were well aware that the jails are overcrowded....that's because there exists a cultural change regarding crime and punishment. Believe me, kids threatening one another over a girl is not new! My own son was threatened in school, that is, his life was threatened with WORDS and the principal called all together, called parents, etc....Guess what? It went away! We didn't like it but it never occurred to me that the high school boy should go to jail. I don't believe in ruining young lives for their ignorant youth. By the way, won't tell you what color I am or the other kid...just sayin'

Anonym - your loyalty is admirable, and the Airsoft gun replica scenario your suggested earlier is plausible. It is also possible that, as you said, he was just making all this up -- i.e., lying -- for purposes we can only imagine -- to impress the friend he was writing? To portray himself as powerful and dominant and in control of others' lives and deaths? To cry out for attention (or help)? To denigrate and demean the people he threatened (i.e., bullying), some who he acted friendly toward at school? The fact that the words occurred on Facebook does not diminish their seriousness...please do not use that as an excuse for why you believe it's ok to say things you don't mean. Also, implying, as you did, that a stolen password and mistaken identity might be part of this case, is neither accurate nor helpful.

The Virginia Tech shooter and the Colombine High School shooters (and others) gave documented clues to their deadly intentions before they killed their fellow students. It is not unusual for violent behavior to follow violent thoughts and statements, even if the shooter did not have a gun at that time of the statements to follow through on the threats. Imagining the deaths of others and then communicating about it are often precursors to actually committing the act. There have been other warning signs with this individual before this incident, about which perhaps you're not aware. I'm not suggesting that he was headed down a similar path to the VT or Colombine shooters, and I hope he wasn't serious about shooting his classmates and himself, as you believe. However, we have to take these things very seriously, because history shows that failing to act can have irreparable and devastating consequences to families, friends, schools, and communities. And, as we have seen in this case, even the act of communicating the threats has serious consequences for those involved and their families and the school.

No one wants to see him locked up for 40 years, as you and "Gasbag" stated, so please keep the hyperbole to a minimum. He will likely be released soon from custody and begin to re-engage as a member of our community. I wish him well and remain hopeful that he becomes the pacifist you portray.

Finally, I urge you to help your friend(s) to communicate in more effective and positive ways with one another and to be a part of the healing process going forward.

quote: "And the look that so many have”Š.a kind of ââ?¬Å?blackwater-flunky-”thing, with the skinheads and stupid expressions on their faces."

I have noticed this more and more lately too. Makes me wonder who is sitting in on the interview and hiring processes.

quote: "Thank you very much, Gasbag, for all your frequent posts."

You're welcome. I never in my life imagined I would ever sit in a courtroom and watch an entire chain of command of a police department commit perjury. Most of the others in the courtroom, including a few attorneys and the judge, had also never imagined such a thing. And it's pretty much how the judge summed it up when he left the courtroom and entered his chambers, "I can't believe the entire department just committed perjury in MY COURTROOM!" This particular judge retired shortly after this. I personally believe this trial was part of the reason he retired. I think he had no idea who to believe from then on.

If the cop shoppe will attempt to do to civilians what they attempted to do to me, there is no "to serve and protect" in this community any longer. The "us vs them" mentality is growing larger each day!

Now having said all of the above, there are still good honest decent cops in the department. They are being given a black eye by the blackwater flunkies.


-A haiku by the famous Gsoe

he should just skip the 1st 2 parts of his plan and just shoot himself.....saves on tax money.

Somebody has ALWAYS been there and DONE that. Any guesses????

GSOE, I don't think you really are sorry that you bore me or everyone, for that matter. And true stories can be incredibly dull when they're whipped out and waved around at every opportunity.

In fact, I think you do the very real & serious issue of police misconduct a huge disservice by boring and alienating nearly everyone (except your new BFF on this thread) who reads these discussions. In fact again, I think maybe you're a double-agent of sorts, someone who is actually *on the side* of corrupt and abusive cops, and your secret mission is to irritate the general public so much that people end up taking the side of corrupt cops because to take your side is hugely unappealing because...well, because it's you.

So bravo, Mr. Shifflett, on hoodwinking all of us! Keep at it, because every post you make drives one more person just a little farther from sympathizing with victims of police misconduct!

Oh, and I doubt W A Parent gives a cr@p about why nothing was done when a uniformed coSSSSSSNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRREEEE. But do keep on asking people to care about your very interesting life-history.

"the world of the internet is a safe way to express your anger and frustration”Š.Right Hoolarious?"

Hey there, Holly! Um, why are you asking me? I didn't say that I wanted to kill four specific people on a specific date. I'm also not particularly angry or frustrated, unless you count generalized anguish at widespread ignorance and poor reasoning skills.

also, I'd point out that the internet might or might not be a safe way to express anger and frustration -- I would think that it would all depend on how exactly one expressed those feelings. Wouldn't you agree, Holly? for example, if the VT shooter had expressed his anger and frustration on the internet instead of in his short stories, would that have been okay? would the the simple fact that he expressed those feelings *on the internet* be "safe"? or would his violent expressions have been warning signs no matter where they appeared? I'm guessing you probably think that no matter where he posted those words, it would not have been "safe." so I'm therefore guessing that you don't mean it when you say "the world of the internet is a safe way to express your anger and frustration" because I think that you, as a presumably intelligent person, know that it's not WHERE you post things that matters, it's what you say.

which is presumably what the authorities are considering now in regards to Mr. Crider.

[cue GSOE to riff tiresomely on the word "presumably" and then paste in Case Study #472958: "Police Misconduct, Falsified Evidence In Regards To"]

quote: "It’s all about you, isn’t it?"

Change the channel if you don't like the show.

quote: "Congrats on the new little acolyte, though! Someone to commiserate with you over your tribulations."

Do like everybody else... just claim it's me using a second user name! :)

quote: "GSOE, do you know that he was jailed without bond on allegations? do you know that they did NOT obtain a warrant and gather evidence? because if you’re saying he was jailed without bond on an allegation, you’re saying that’s all they had ââ?¬â? the allegation. No evidence. So I’m wondering how you KNOW this."

All I know (right now) is what I read above. The story above says he was jailed for allegedly threatening to kill other students at Western Albemarle High School, an online chat with another Western Albemarle student, during which threats against several current Western Albemarle High School students were made. This my friend is an allegation. How do we know it's true?

The allegation and a copy of the online chat is enough to get past most of the current magistrates, IMHO.

It goes on to say he is being held, a second bond hearing set for January 25,2010. So, is he being held without bond currently?

Stories such as this bother me for one particular reason, and one particular reason alone. I had a former Albemarle County police officer threaten my life right on the police frequency. And this wasn't even an allegation against the former cop, the evidence was there in the 911 tapes for all to hear. Although he was fired later for other wrongdoings, I didn't see the cops (or police chief) tripping over each others heels rushing out to get a criminal warrant for him. To them the cop was just upset and running off at the mouth, he supposedly had no intention of following through with the threat. But if a civilian is involved, they rush out and get warrants for the person. Most likely, Patrick Dittmar Crider was just running off at the mouth too and had no intentions of carrying out his threats as well. It's too bad Patrick Dittmar Crider isn't employed in law enforcement, not a dayum thing would have been done. :)

What you don't know is if they have an allegation AND evidence. You're commiserating with Saddened as if all they have is an allegation, but you do not know that all they have is an allegation. So thanks for the confirming that.

Regarding the former Albemarle Countblah blah blah SNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRREEEE.

sorry, fell asleep there...

I wonder if he was spanked as a kid or "talked to"

Here's what doesn't add up. Here we have an over achieving young man with a good family and nice friends. He apparently goes through the public school system for 12 years without incident. He is a candidate for one of the most prestigious awards that a senior can receive. Then suddenly, without prior warning, due to an internet posting, he is arrested, incarcerated without bond,and most likely will not graduate. His life as he knows it is over Obviously, something made him break, and I hope he finds the help he needs. That said, I find it very sad and something still does not add up. Young people and old alike post foolish things on the internet all the time, but this one has more dire consequences than most.

This is a very sad story. This young man is a National Merit Scholarship finalist. Something here does not add up.

If I'm the parent of one of the threatened schoolmates, I'd want his a$$ locked up!

What doesn't add up? Being an NMS finalist doesn't guarantee good decision-making skills, emotional balance, impulse control, etc. It's not only "dumb" kids who do things like this. We're all dumb at times.

But if the four students in 2006 would have executed their plan and the authorities would have brushed off the tips, we would be crying that the cops didn't do their job. It's really a no-win situation for the authorities. Act early and get beatdown by everyone because it's a non-issue. Act too late and get beatdown by everyone because you didn't act on the tip.

Hoolarious.unless you are privy to documents not readily available then there is no alternative to post in a vague manner. While I agree that you were most likely dumb at that age, I surmise that you most likely still are. (I've read many of your posts in other threads)
Chances are that this is a smart. talented. young man with a good family and while if this were my family I would be alarmed at the least. I don't think that a two week incarceration is helping him. I'd rather handle it in-house. We've all said dumb things on the internet and I've read many of yours, including comparing this situation to single mothers in urban areas, What? far from your dumbest. However. the whole story is not out there yet, so let's not be so sure that this is not just a sad mistake, where a man child was just mouthing off. Another misstep of youth. Sad. as I said

Thank you, W.A. Parent, for your reasonable commentary.
The alleged threats, in a "community" chock full of weapons, absolutely affects kids and adults.
Dittmar-Crider's future may be in the hands of the experts and the Comm. Attorney, but I think parents should also take a look at this example of a high-achieving student, and the recent UVa student-murderer.
Kids are so much more conformist than ever, reluctant to criticize or protest against anyone or anything, and I wonder how much fear of their peers with guns is a factor. It sure would have made me fearful when I was a kid.
Anyway, thanks.

If some Adderal-addled, overwrought, momma's-boy threatened my son, and it was shown that that kid could get his hands on a pistol, I wouldn't settle for a meeting with an administrator.


Teach your kids how to handle heartbreak, pain, frustration, and, arguable most importantly, ANGER. These are some of the most important lessons young adults need to learn.

Unforatunately: There are no shortcuts to emotional lessons.

Gasbag, are you stupid? The second comment on this thread reads thusly:

"Sounds like a non-story to me. Give him 30 lashes, send him to pops for 30 more and call it a day. Of course, that would would be inhumane. Never mind, just lock him up for 40 years. That sounds like a better use of taxpayer money."

Um, that thing about 40 years? The commenter is being sarcastic ("that sounds like a better use of taxpayer money").

So THAT'S your evidence that "the people [plural] here would like to see this youngster go to jail for 40 years"? A single, sarcastic commenter?

You cannot do any better than that?

Stop interrupting, the adults are having a discussion.

That's what I thought--thanks!

I am truly sorry for what the WAHS school community is going through right now.
I hope that the 4 students named in this alleged threat are receiving a great deal of support from their school, friends and families. I know that this experience may impact their lives going forward.
If you are part of the WAHS community please consider those who may find that this brings back the VT shooting- siblings of students at VT in 07, or others with a closer than typical connection to the shooting.
And I would like to say to the friends of the young man who is detained that many people in this community will not rush to judgment.

The truth is that we do not yet know how to tell which individuals pose a real threat of carrying out a school shooting and which do not so all threats must be treated seriously. And as parents, we can not be sure our kids are being careful not to spout off on the internet unless we shadow them 24/7.

Zaphod B-
Be careful what you wish for...verified words put high school student behind bars...for weeks? Wow!
And, don't blame the lawyers anymore! This litigious society is driven by people like yourself!
Listen, the student needs attention, but not a criminal justice circus! and, everyone knows that mental health is not addressed in the jails...this is all just out of proportion and shameful.

Well, disgusted, if what he did is addressed by our codified criminal statutes, it's a bit late to suggest that all this man needs is some "attention." Actual killers don't just come out of thin air -- they evolve. The police having caught him in the extremely rare and serious step this young man took may have saved some lives. And I would never blame a lawyer for anything (not even this guy's defense lawyer) -- they are just doing their very necessary and noble jobs, and generally think things through a lot more thoroughly than do the rest of us. By putting him through the criminal justice process, society wil be able to more accurately assess the threat he poses, and make sure he learns his lesson for his (alleged) unlawful actions. Really, when you weigh the few weeks he has to spend in the can versus the potantial harm he (allegedly) explicitly and affirmatively threatened to cause, it isn't too difficult to decide to take the prudent and preventative step (unless you want to provoke the threatend would-be victims into taking things into their own hands, which would make things worse, and is what the criminal justice system is partly intended to prevent).

Thank you very much, Gasbag, for all your frequent posts.
My own experience with Albe. Co. cops has left me fearful of their indiscretion, their inexperience, the way they devote hours to try to develop a case for making an arrest when there is not any reason to believe there was a crime or threat of one.
And the look that so many have....a kind of "blackwater-flunky-"thing, with the skinheads and stupid expressions on their faces.
Thank you for giving some substance to my suspicions.


quote: In 2006, four county students, including one from Western Albemarle, were charged with conspiring to blow up two high schools, charges so widely seen as unfounded that prosecutor Jim Camblos was turned out of office by voters a year later."

Wasn't that the case where they executed a search warrant and found a box of matches and a few firecrakers in the father's locked safe? About the only thing the kids could have blown up was a half full box of cheerios! :)

It's incredible that we need to incarcerate a high school student who said something very dumb on the internet...Parents, most of your kids are saying very dumb things, too! Couldn't the parents get together and address this? the old -fashioned way? Oh, I suppose they are too busy or simply out of touch....
Why are we so quick to ruin young people's futures? Have we forgotten how dumb we were at that age, especially when a love is involved?
Let's elect officials who are not so quick to incarcerate!
By the way, children cannot drink at 18, either, cause they're too young, right?

Sounds like a non-story to me. Give him 30 lashes, send him to pops for 30 more and call it a day. Of course, that would would be inhumane. Never mind, just lock him up for 40 years. That sounds like a better use of taxpayer money.

On another note;Don't you people ever proof read your stories. About every other story has a typo in it these days. Sorry Lisa, it's your job to get it right. Time to punch in and get to work...

Saddened, all you have to do is read (online) the newspaper accounts. I found the story that I quoted from in two seconds. It's hardly "not readily available." MOREOVER, this Hook story itself -- you know, the one you're responding to? says this:

"Crider allegedly threatened to use a Glock to shoot four Western students,"

So Saddened, listen carefully: you had an alternative to your deliberately vague phrasing. You. Are. Making. Excuses.

quote: ââ?¬Å?Allegedly” is the key phrase here.

Correct. I allegedly did so and so. But it turns out the people who claim I allegedly did so and so were lying.

That's the trouble with our criminal justice system. This kid is jailed without bond on an allegation.

I was well compensated for the false allegations made against me by a few morons, but most people aren't. And most people suffer very severe consequences based on false allegations.

"Allegedly" is the key phrase here. Did he plan to carry it out? Could he? Was a Glock or any weapon readily available? With whom did he share this threat? Was he kidding? Was he serious? Was it said in jest or sarcasm"? Was he stressed? Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? scared? Did he say it in confidence? I don't know and neither do you.
I think that you like being inflammatory online much like Mr. Crider allegedly did. I think we have a young man with great potential who allegedly made a profound mistake and is now paying a greater price for his stupidity than you ever will. I don't know, I could be wrong, you still have the potential to do more harm than he ever did. Allegedly.

Thanks for the affimation GSOE. In my earlier post, I had thought of using one or two of your tribulations as an example of what can happen to good people when "they" seek to harm you, but since you had not weighed in on this case, I did not want to do to you this disservice in an unrelated post. In this country we are all innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes it seems lives are truly ruined by an off handed remark. This is not a new phenomenon.

I don't know if you understand how the legal system works here, Saddened, so I'll go slowly.

Yes, it's all alleged. That would be why I used the word "allegedly" in my post. All those great questions that you asked? Well, those are questions that the legal system tries to answer. But we're not at that point yet. Right now, we're still at the point where someone told the authorities that Crider threatened to kill four specific students on a specific day, and the police followed up on it. They obtained some kind of evidence, enough to get a warrant for an arrest. Enough that the judge decided to deny bond and detain him. Now the authorities' job is to look at all the evidence and listen to all the accounts and decide how bad it really was. But if someone is saying "I'm going to kill A, B, C, and D tomorrow," I think you don't wait around to answer each of those questions and THEN detain him. And I ask you, if you have kids, if a classmate of your kid's said (online or not) "I'm going to kill Billy Saddened tomorrow, my Glock should do the job," what would you like the authorities to do?

Saddened, you're kind of deceitful. You use language in deceitful ways. You write a sentence like "Then suddenly, without prior warning, due to an internet posting, he is arrested." Grammatically (again, I'll try to go slowly), that sentence makes him the victim of some kind of unfair sneak attack ("suddenly," "without prior warning"). You gloss over and minimize the alleged felony by referring to it vaguely as an "internet posting." These were all deliberate grammatical choices you made that have the effect of minimizing the alleged offense and painting Crider as a victim.

Then, when called on it, you say you had "no alternative" to posting "in a vague manner." Let's think about the words "no alternative." You're saying there was absolutely no other way you could phrase your sentence EXCEPT in this one way that makes Crider into the poor, passive victim of sneaky police who give him no prior warning. You would like us to believe that it's simply impossible for you to have written "Crider allegedly posted a threat to kill four classmates and was arrested." THAT, according to you, would have been impossible! You had no alternative!

UNLESS, you go on to say, one was "privy" to "documents not readily available." If someone had access to those magical documents, then perhaps one could have written a less vague sentence. Documents like, oh, I don't know, this Hook story, or the newsplex story, or the Daily Progress story, all of which come up immediately when you Google "Patrick Dittmar Crider." Which everyone on the planet but you must be privy to, I guess.

I can't decide if you're as stupid as you sound, or just self-serving and deceitful. It's definitely one or the other. Or maybe both.

1}Authorities have to treat threats of violence seriously which will often involve the need to arrest the threatening individual.
2)We have no idea if this was a serious threat or a kid acting out.
3) Lets see if this community can avoid hysterical press conferences and reckless speculation for the sake of all the young people involved.

It's too easy to rush and make judgments before letting the process bring evidence to light. 18 years old is still very young and the world of the internet is a safe way to express your anger and frustration....Right Hoolarious?

For those who think this is no big deal -- If you had attended the accused student's bond hearing this week, or if you had actual contact with the Western Albemarle students involved and heard their accounts of the case, which I have, and if you were familiar with many of the specific details of the case, as I am, then you would know that this case is very serious and the threats were real. Four WAHS students were named specifically, in writing, with detailed and gruesome death threats to be carried out on a specific date, followed by a planned suicide shooting. Fortunately, other Western Albemarle students and their parents had the wisdom and courage to bring the Facebook exchange containing the threats to the attention of the proper authorities. The Western Albemarle administration and the Albemarle County police acted swiftly and appropriately in addressing this very real and specific threat.

Do students say "dumb" things?....sure. This was a death threat, not just a dumb, innocuous comment. A line was crossed with these threats. Did he have a gun to immediately carry out the threats?....this question is probably irrelevant since there are many ways to kill another person or oneself if one is motivated to do so. Plus, there are ways for motivated and intelligent 18 year olds to acquire guns....just ask the parents of the students killed at Virginia Tech a couple of years ago. The defense attorney is paid to portray his client in the most positive light (which is fine, that's part of our legal system).

If someone made a specific and reasonably credible threat to shoot you or your child in the face, intelligent and responsible people with decision making authority will err on the side of caution in determining whether the threat is real before letting the person who made the threats go free. This is what the police and the court are doing, because the severity of the threats and the irreparable harm that could occur are so great that they warrant the highest scrutiny.

The learning environment at Western Albemarle has been affected negatively by these threats. The students who were threatened, and their parents, are very concerned about the outcome of this case, and they are concerned for their safety (and distracted from their schoolwork and activities). Psychologists will evaluate the accused student's potential threat to others and to himself, and much depends on the accuracy of their evaluation. I certainly hope they find that he is not a threat and that, for everyone's sake, they are right. If they are wrong, then four bright, capable, talented young people - and anyone else who might cross the threatening student in the future -- will have to watch their backs.

Gas dog non expert: If the cop said those things over the radio then they SHOULD have arrseted him but that is no reason to let this guy go.

The same holds true for the allegation of "too many" blacks in jail.. the problem is not too many blacks in jail the problem is too few guilty whites not in jail because they can afford fancy lawyers. Guilty is guilty regardless of color.

People need to learn personal responsibility and this kid is no different. It he was just fooling around then I'll bet a few weeks in jail will make sure he doesn't screw up again. Better he suffer a little extra for his mistake then four families be destroyed by the mistake of the prosecuters not to take the threats seriously.

i believe he never intended to go through with his "alleged" plan. but in a sudden burst of uncontrollable emotion, actually was talking about shooting those four students with an AIRSOFT gun, that is modeled after the leathal glock, but instead of firing a leathal bullet, fires little plastic bb's that hurt about as much as being pinched

Yes Hoolarious, we have heard your speech before about how I do a disservice to the community by repeating my true tales of local police corrutpion. Wehave to ask ourselves, which is more boring, my repeating the true stories or your speech? :)

I am a double agent of sorts. I will support the good decent honest cops all day long. The others should be in jail, and I can personally name about a dozen of them.

better safe than sorry, point taken. There's no reason to let this guy slide, and there was no reason to let a cop slide that threatened to kill another cop. Just pointing out the double standards when the Albemarle County cop shoppe is involved. As a matter of fact, if they had dealt with the cop that threatened my life, they wouldn't have had to deal with all his many other wrongdoings later.

And you won't get a debate from me on "too many blacks in jail". Every word you say is true. This is why most cop shoppes consider blacks an easy target. I have witnessed it on numerous occasions in my career and believe racism is still alive and well in the law enforcement community.

anonym, I agree. Just another kid acting out and saying things he probably should not have said. We can't expect much when we let our kids grow up on violent video games, movies and television.

By the way folks, until this case is resolved and disposed of in the court system, the memories of the last three ring circus involving threats against schools/students is still fresh in my mind.

Gasbag, the shame isn't that you have so may stories to tell, it's that you only have one, that it features you, and that you interject it at every possible opportunity whether or not it has anything whats-so-ever to do with the original topic of the article whose responses you hijack for your own boring agenda.

leave Britney alone!

All yall should be imprisioned (especially those without kids) for blowing up this page. Unless yall are placing bets on what will happen then there is no use talking about it. Let the Hook do that.

hey the last wahs student didnt have internet out on the farm, just a bridge over 64 to vent frustration.

when i mentioned the stolen password, i wasn't trying to imply that, that was what happened, because i do believe that he said these things, i was just giving food for thought, for example, let's say your child has facebook, and someone goes on their account, and says what patrick said, they could be in the same position he is.
I said 40 years because that is what gasbag said, even though i know that wont happen, i was just using it to serve as a sort of direct response to his statement.
I also acknowledgem, as before, that the things he said, are not acceptable in any context, but i still urge people to wait to make conclusions until the trial is over.This is another case of someone saying something they didn't mean, like we all have done, and it being spun around by most of the community, until it becomes something much worse than what actually happened.
While i would not like to see him in the situation he is currently in, i can not argue, that it is not the right thing for the authorities to do, but i still urge you to wait to make conclusions until the trial is over, as i am positive he will be shown in a better light

i know him, hes one of my good friends, i have class with him, well did, 4 days a week. I know all the people he threatened, i know why and the full story. He has explained everything to my friend and i since i knew his gf, well ex now. He told me everything that was going on. i loved this poor kid, and couldn't believe this happened, i actually didn't believe it for a long time. One memory i have, one of my last, was that everyone was in a good mood, but then patty came in late and we all knew something was up. Me and my friend asked him, he had been trying to pass all his classes in the last week of the semester, to try to play soccer in the spring, he was going on about 2 hours of sleep, but he just came in, put his head on the desk, and started crying, it was one of the saddest things i have ever seen. so please, could he be helped and then come back to real life. i wanna see my friend succeed again.

Swamp Rat, the only thing this tale teaches anybody is this.....

...... do not announce your plans to anyone.

maybe if he spends a couple of weeks in the pokey he will realize the world does not revolve him and learn a lesson.

Boon1980 January 22nd, 2010 | 7:20 am
"he should just skip the 1st 2 parts of his plan and just shoot himself”Š..saves on tax money."

that's a horrible thing to say, besides, he was never going to go through with this plan, he doesn't even have a gun

Anonym, the people here would like to see this youngster go to jail for 40 years. And yet, the last I heard, a UVA student who actually did murder a volunteer fireman a few years ago only got 2 years in this community for the murder.

Ya know, what goes around comes around. Those who wish suicide on a 18 year old kid might just find it happening in their own family someday.

quote: "No one wants to see him locked up for 40 years, as you and ââ?¬Å?Gasbag” stated, so please keep the hyperbole to a minimum."

Excuse me? The second reply in this thread mentions locking him away for 40 years. Or do you suppose the author of the second reply in this thread was just running off at the mouth. Perhaps like Patrick Dittmar Crider might have just been running off at the mouth? :)

Dear WA Parent,
No one here thinks that the behavior is correct. My disagreement is that he should not be in jail. (Read my earlier posts)This does not imply that he does not need care and attention for having been out of control...with his words. And, stop justifying this by talking about Colombine and VT. This is highly inflammatory! Jail is for those who have committed a crime and should be a last resort, not a first one. Children, and 18 yr. olds, make mistakes. The criminal justice system is over-used and in fact, can be very damaging. You sound very patronizing in your response to Anonym. If you re-read your text, you imply guilt before innocence ("there have been other warning signs..") I don't know this boy but I imagine that he doesn;t need your additions to his already damaged legacy.
As you said yourself -"I urge YOU to help your friends communicate in more effective and positive ways..." There are a few other parents here as well who should do the same or shame on them!