A Lamar University doctoral student who failed to make the grade was arrested on charges he sent an e-mail threatening to violently disrupt this week's graduation.
Daniel Ogwoka Siringi, 34, faced arraignment Thursday on a third-degree degree felony charge of making a terroristic threat, Officer David Byars said.
Investigators said Siringi, a chemical engineering doctoral student, denied sending the anonymous e-mail to James Simmons, the school's president. But the e-mail was traced to a copy shop where he was a customer, they said.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the anonymous sender claimed to represent a group of students who'd been denied graduation. It threatened to interrupt Saturday's ceremony and "place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury."
Thesis not up to academic standards
Siringi had been told he would not graduate because his thesis was not up to academic standards, authorities said.
Jefferson County District Attorney Tom Maness told KFDM-TV that the threat was comparable to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings that claimed 32 lives.
Siringi's bond was $200,000. It was not clear if he had obtained an attorney.
According to a Web site for Lamar's chemical engineering department, Siringi works for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The threatening e-mail was traced to a FedEx Kinko's print shop near Siringi's office. Investigators said Siringi is seen on a surveillance video arranging to purchase computer time around the time the e-mail was sent, and a shop employee said she has seen Siringi there several times.