Bad break-up? Western Albemarle student charged
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."