Student charged after campus paralyzed twice

jeff hodson/metro vancouver


Brian Sullivan, vice-president of students at the University of B.C., speaks yesterday about the university’s new text-messaging warning system, which is being tested later this month. During a threat or an emergency about 45,000 students and 10,000 faculty, staff and visitors have to be notified at once.

A University of B.C. student has been arrested in connection with two undisclosed threats that shut down part of the campus earlier this year, RCMP announced yesterday.

Hwi Lee, 19, a first-year science student who graduated from Gleneagle Secondary School, was arrested on Friday and charged with two counts of uttering threats and two counts of mischief.

On Jan. 30, police locked down and evacuated the university’s Biological Sciences Building after a threat was directed at it.

A second less specific threat was made on Feb. 6, but no parts of the campus were shut down.

Police have released few details about the nature of the threats.

RCMP assistant commissioner Peter German said the success of the "exhaustive month-long investigation" validates the procedures used.

"There are certain things we have to keep pretty tight in order to conduct an effective police investigation."

Resources from about a dozen specialized divisions, including E-Division serious crime unit, police dog units and an interrogation team, helped investigate the threats.

Brian Sullivan, UBC vice-president of students, said the threats caused great distress to the campus community.

"Vigorous and civil discussion of ideas … depends absolutely on an atmosphere of safety and security, the disruption of which is a matter of utmost gravity."

On top of criminal charges Lee also faces potential expulsion.

He is scheduled to appear in Richmond provincial court on March 20.

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