What happens when you need to pay off a parking ticket and return a wheel lock, but Parking Services isn’t open yet? Maybe you can just leave it in a box outside of their door – seems simple enough, right? Nope, obviously everyone needs to freak out, because a box automatically equals a bomb.

According to a press release, around 7:50 a.m. Thursday, three college-aged men left a suspicious box in a hallway at the center, located at 504 Northwestern Ave. Police evacuated the building and used a portable X-ray machine to examine the box’s contents. Inside of the box there was a wheel lock, a Purdue parking ticket and $20. Police re-opened the center at 9 a.m.

So they closed down the building for an hour…no major harm done, right?

Police arrested 21-year-old Roy C. Sun of Andover, Mass., on preliminary charges of Class C felony terroristic mischief and possession of stolen property, a Class C felony. …

Terroristic mischief is when a person knowingly or intentionally places a device with the intent to cause a reasonable person to believe it is weapon of mass destruction, according to the press release.

Norberg said it is not a good use of police time when they have to respond to this kind of activity.

“It was a very serious matter to do something that mimics a terrorist activity – it uses numerous resources,” she said. “When they’re doing that they’re not out doing other things that might be needed.”

A Class C felony is punishable by a maximum of eight years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and a Class D felony is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

…Are you kidding me?

First of all, it’s fairly obvious that the guy wasn’t knowingly or intentionally trying to make the box seem like a weapon of mass destruction (really? WMD?). He was trying to return a parking ticket and didn’t think that police would irrationally freak out about it. Does he really deserve a criminal record that is going to make achieving anything in life very difficult? I know there are RJFF (real jobs for felons) now but there are many other barriers he will have to face. Maybe if this isn’t a good use of police time, police shouldn’t be so trigger happy to think there’s a freaking WMD in a tiny building on their relatively insignificant college campus in the middle of a corn field. Left outside the White House, I can understand – but outside of Parking Services at Purdue? What did they think, someone got so disgruntled with getting ticketed that it was time to do everyone in?

He hasn’t been officially charged yet, so hopefully the prosecutor’s office will realize how ridiculous this is. There is a facebook group and they’ve already held a protest. On top of that, this story is becoming popular on reddit… Lovely that Purdue will yet again be in the news for something stupid. We’re really building up our image this year.