FULL STORY A recently fired BGSU Firelands instructor was arrested Tuesday for threatening to stab an associate dean at the school, an Erie County Sheriff deputy’s report said.
Patrick R. Saunders, 62, a former part-time American culture instructor, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and aggravated menacing.
Huron County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him at his Laylin Road home in Norwalk at about 2 a.m., acting on a warrant from Erie County Sheriff’s deputies.
The arrest stemmed from a Sept. 29 incident at BGSU Firelands, where Saunders allegedly told a female student he was going to cut associate dean Andrew Kurtz’s guts out, an Erie County deputy’s report said.
The arrest was the second for Sanders since Saturday, when he was arrested in Huron County for carrying a loaded handgun in a saddle bag on his motorcycle, a Huron County deputy’s report said.
He posted bond in that incident over the weekend, but Erie County Sheriff’s deputies were already investigating reports from two students who said Saunders made comments about cutting Kurtz.
One of the students, a 31-year-old Norwalk woman, said she was in the student government room at BGSU Firelands on Sept. 29 when Saunders told her he wasn’t likely to be rehired because faculty chair Kate Dailey — also an assistant professor in English and women’s studies — didn’t like him, the deputy’s report said.
Saunders also told the student that Kurtz, the interim associate dean and an English professor, didn’t like him.
“At this point, Mr. Saunders pulled out a folding knife from his front right pocket and at the same time said, ‘I got a present for Andy,’” the report said. “(The student said) Mr. Saunders opened the knife (and) made slicing and stabbing motions ... while saying ‘I should go over there and cut his guts out.’”
Another student in the room told deputies she also witnessed Saunders make the threats, but added that Saunders laughed as he put the knife back in his pocket, the report said.
BGSU Firelands officials reported the incident to Erie County Sheriff’s deputies on Friday, two days after it happened.
On Tuesday, Saunders’ wife of 38 years, Annie Saunders, said her husband is a peacemaker who wouldn’t hurt anyone.
“There was nothing meant by the comment made, it was more of an incredibly stupid remark,” Annie said. “I don’t know how it got blown out of proportion.”
William Balzer, dean of BGSU Firelands, said the safety of the school’s students, faculty and staff is of the “utmost concern” for the school.
“We took the appropriate actions to ensure that,” Balzer said.
Saunders appeared in Huron Municipal Court on Tuesday, where Judge Bill Steuk set his bond at $10,000. He was then released from the Erie County jail on condition he not contact Kurtz or the students. He was also ordered to stay away from any BGSU campus.
His arraignment is scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m. at Huron Municipal Court.