UCLA professor was worried about mental state of student who is now a suspect in stabbing
A UCLA professor was so concerned about the behavior of Damon Thompson that he told an administrator 10 months ago that the student should get some type of help.
Then, last week, Thompson allegedly slashed the throat of a classmate at a chemistry classroom. He was arrested. The victim is expected to survive.
"My concern was in the context of other violent incidents on campuses around the country," said Stephen Frank, an associate professor in the university's history department.
The Times' Andrew Blankstein and Larry Gordon say:
Stephen Frank ... met the suspect, undergraduate student Damon Thompson, when he enrolled in the instructor's Western civilization class late last year, Frank said in an interview.
Frank said he grew concerned about Thompson in mid-December 2008, after the student sent several e-mails complaining that classmates sitting around him had been disruptive and made offensive comments to him while he was taking a written exam.
In one of the e-mails that Frank provided to The Times, Thompson, 20, also accused Frank of taunting him.
"I believe I heard you, Professor Frank, say that I was 'troubled' and 'crazy' among other things," Thompson wrote in the e-mail. "My outrage at this situation coupled with the pressure of the very weighted examination dulled my concentration and detracted from my performance."