Hanover College professor charged with intimidation
HANOVER, IN (WAVE) – A Hanover man is charged with intimidation after allegedly making threats against an area hospital.
Hanover College Professor James Stark is out on bond for threats authorities say he made last year.
Hanover College leaders sent out a message campus-wide telling students and staff that Stark was no longer welcome on campus after allegedly making threats to different people around the community.
Jim Stark was charged with intimidation March 1 for a threat he allegedly made in March of 2017. Court documents show Stark was receiving treatment at King's Daughters' Hospital.
The nurse told investigators Stark was upset over being woken up, saying "I'm sorry to have inconvenienced you vampires", then picked up and threw the envelope with his discharge papers which hit her in the cheek.
Court records say after returning home, Stark called into the hospital and wanted to complain, asking the phone operator "What if a person brought hand grenades into the ER?"
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Stark's erratic behavior had been brought up before. A former teacher at Hanover College says she's reported it multiple times before to campus leadership starting in 2016, describing his behavior as erratic and concerning.
The Jefferson County, Indiana Prosecutor David Sutter said Stark's family members reached out to Hanover Police after he made threats against people on campus. Reports of threats to staff at Hanover College from Stark led them to reconsider charges, Sutter said.
"At that time, based on all the information that they had at that time, the decision was made not to file charges," Sutter said. "Upon review and in light of everything else that has come out, the decision was made to forward with charges against Mr. Stark for that incident."
If convicted, Stark could face between six months and two and a half years of jail time. He's currently out on bond.
Arresting officials seized multiple weapons from Stark's home under the Indiana red flag law. There will be a hearing Tuesday to determine if he should be able to keep the guns.
A spokesperson for Hanover College says Stark's employment has not been terminated, but he has been suspended.
WAVE 3 News reached out for information surrounding Stark's employment and terms of suspension with the college, a spokesperson sent back a statement from President Lake Lambert that reads:
"Hanover College has barred one of its employees from its campus following a reported threat made by this person against employees of the College and others. Until further notice, this person is not allowed on College property. We also instructed this person not to contact fellow employees or students.
The security of our campus community is of the utmost priority. The increase in threats of violence at schools, including colleges and universities, has created a nationwide atmosphere of greater awareness and precaution. In this current climate, all threats are taken seriously and warrant investigation. College officials, in conjunction with area law enforcement, will continue to monitor this situation. We will take every reasonable step to ensure the safety of our students and employees."
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