Ohio University Student Allegedly Made Threat on Twitter

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An Ohio University student appeared in court on the charges of making terroristic threats and possession of a controlled substance after he allegedly made a threat on law enforcement over social media.

Nickolaus Russell, of Gallipolis, made a threat to “kill a cop” on Twitter. Ohio Homeland Security public information officer Dustin Fox confirmed to WOUB.

Russell’s bond was set at $15,000 in Athens County Municipal Court. He was also told by Judge William Grim that he could not be on OU property to collect personal belongings without the escort of an OUPD officer.

Russell appeared in court on video from the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. When Grim asked if the university had taken disciplinary action, Russell said the university had suspended him.

OU spokesperson Katie Quaranta declined to comment on Russell’s status because the information is protected through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. She did confirm, however, that Russell is still enrolled.

Police arrested Russell at Boyd Hall on Friday after investigating the source of the tweet. They allegedly also found four doses of LSD in Russell’s room.

Residents in Boyd Hall said that Russell lived alone after his former roommate switched rooms.

“The one time I talked to him he was actually very open and social,” Adam Moses, a Boyd resident, said. “I feel kind of bad for the kid. He’s gonna get his entire life ruined for one tweet. There should definitely be some forgiveness.”

A search for Russell in municipal court records showed he was arrested last month as well, for underage drinking.

The FBI and Delaware Valley Intelligence Center in Philadelphia, Penn., notified the agency about the tweet, according to Fox. Ohio Homeland Security then contacted OUPD, which led to Russell’s arrest.


Russell’s preliminary hearing has been set for Monday Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.