North Idaho

NIC defends response to student's threat

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A North Idaho College student is no longer allowed on campus after, according to police, Patrick Budig made a veiled threat to his counselor, referring to Columbine in his comments.

Budig, 33, is being sought by both Coeur d'Alene Police as well as police in Spokane where he lives.

The college has since been working closely with police the last few days to keep tabs of the situation and, so far, there hasn't been an imminent danger to the campus and no need to let students know what was going on right away.

NIC student threat follow-up

While classes are going on as usual, some students expressed concerned about the police officers around the NIC campus.

"We had a right to know. This campus should have been shut down," student Amanda Razzaia said.

NIC officials said that before the threat last week, Budig had been displaying inappropriate conduct, such as behaving disrespectfully. A disability counselor working with Budig told police he was upset over a discipline issue and referenced Columbine during a talk with him on Friday and that counselor was worried Budig, who is wanted in Washington on an assault with a weapon charge, might harm someone.

In addition to the assault charge, Budig has previously been convicted for forgery, assault and intimidating a judge, shocking some of his fellow students.

"He doesn't seem like the guy who would have a criminal record," NIC student Brandon Clearwaters said.

The college told people on campus Friday night about Budig's statement to his counselor and, when police couldn't contact him over the weekend, they stationed themselves at every entrance and exit on campus Monday morning .

"They had set up check points along the way so that if he had arrived here on campus doing license recognition and other forms to identify his whereabouts," NIC Vice President for Student Services Graydon Stanley said.

The college and Coeur d'Alene police worked closely together and felt the campus was secure, were confident Budig was in Spokane, and there was no imminent threat, which is why NIC was kept open Monday. By

Monday afternoon campus faculty were told what was going on; an e-mail was sent out to students at 5 p.m.

"You have to trust the fact that we are working with the experts in this situation," Stanley said, adding they were trying not to compromise chances of finding Budig.

On Tuesday police said Budig didn't show up for a court hearing in Spokane, but his attorney did tell police he won't show up at the NIC campus.