Former Potsdam Student Awaiting Sentencing For Threatening Professor

Emily Martinez, Staff Reporter

Amjad Hussain, a former student at SUNY Potsdam was charged with two felony counts of second-degree harassment and a count of fourth-degree solicitation. He was charged for sending two notes to a former professor, John D., that involved death threats and also used homophobic and racist language towards him and also stated Hussain wanted to physically hurt him.

The threats made to the professor by Hussain were made in April of 2015. After the incident students came together and marched to draw attention to the hateful nature of the problem. Both students and faculty at Potsdam said they were standing together to protect everyone in the community.

Later on there was a follow up on his case in November of 2015. He was charged for soliciting another person into trying to send a third threat to the professor, although it did not involve racist or homophobic words directly towards the professor.

Amjad is facing  four years in the state prison for the felonies he convicted. On September 19, 2016 he was arraigned in the St. Lawrence County Court, and was pleaded not guilty to the crime and was put under probation supervision so the victim will stay safe. He is not to have any contact with the victim.

Amjad has a next court date on October 11, 2016 at noon. It is being handled by Investigator Chad Shelmidine and by Investigator David Buske of the Investigations Bureau, with some help from Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle, Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella, and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam.

“Nobody should be made to feel unsafe or subject to harassment in their workplace, least of all our state’s hard working, dedicated teachers,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a press release. “This indictment sends the message, loud and clear, that racist and homophobic threats will be treated with the utmost concern, and those responsible for such harassment will be held accountable.”

St. Lawrence county law enforcement officials want residents and college students to feel safe at home, on campus, or at a workplace.  Their quick actions point out that words or digital messages can be harmful and will not be tolerated.