“He went into that room and said he was going to kill everybody in that room and he called them n*ggers,” PCC staff Kenneth McLin said. “After that it was just like, ‘sieg heil,’ he walks in here and ‘hail Hitler,’ some other stuff, calling the teacher an ‘Asian bitch’ over and over again,”

On Feb. 4 at 12:14 p.m. students and staff at PCC received a vague email alerting them that the Center of the Arts building was undergoing a lockdown due to police activity. Less than five minutes later, another email was sent announcing the building was reopened for normal use. While additional information has been posted on the Police & College Safety page there are few details available to the students on what actually happened.

Jason Haddad had been attending PCC for four years and was pursuing a Software Engineering degree. He was enrolled in Mark Takeuchi’s photography class that meets each Friday afternoon. On this particular day the students were required to use a thermometer for their darkroom activities. Haddad said he did not know that the students were responsible for getting their own tools and thus had come to class without one.

“I asked him if I could share with one of the classmates and he said no, I thought he was just giving an excuse to give me a lower grade than other classmates,” Haddad said. “I thought that I was being lied to and I’m really sensitive to being lied to.”

After being refused a thermometer Haddad grew extremely upset. He began to raise his voice and made verbal threats toward his teacher and peers.

The Courier reached out to Takeuchi, though, he declined to comment.

Haddad left the classroom and stormed over to the camera department where he shoved over a box full of developing tanks that was sitting on a counter. After this initial incident, McLin decided to start recording as a safety precaution for himself and others. In a video McLin provided to the Courier, Haddad can be seen slamming doors open, being aggressive with his professor and making various verbal threats.

He ripped open the classroom door and yelled, “I’m going to kill all of you,” to his classmates.

“I want to kill myself,” Haddad can also be heard shouting into the hall.

Haddad called his mother in an effort to calm himself down and because he wanted to feel heard by someone. She told him that she was going to come pick him up right away and that he should walk over to the Chick-fil-a across the street. He began to head down the hallway before remembering he still had personal belongings in the classroom.

“I got my stuff in the room you stupid Asian bitch,” Haddad screamed at his teacher.

Haddad was heard yelling a multitude of racist comments throughout the entirety of the incident.

“I wish I had a white teacher,” Haddad yelled in the hall.

One of the last things he had screamed before exiting the building was “white power.”

Campus Police were called but Haddad had fled the building prior to their arrival. According to PCC’s Safety Bulletin, the CA building was then put on lockdown as a precaution and an “extensive search was conducted.”

According to Sergeant Bill Abernathie, an extensive search entails checking “all the rooms, bathrooms, common areas, any closet, anything in the building would be searched to make sure nobody is hiding.” Campus Police reported that Haddad also made threats towards the Covid-testing staff in Lot 5 as he made his way off campus towards Bonnie Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

While Haddad attributes part of his behavior to his autism, PCC President Erika Endrijonas made it clear that screaming at and threatening staff and students is not tolerated at Pasadena City College.

“PCC absolutely condemns, in both policy and practice, racist language and threatening behavior,” Endrijonas said in an email. “Such actions have no place at our college and are in opposition to our shared values and beliefs.”

Endrijonas’ email also included that PCC has decided to expand their communications to “receive and safely share information in the case of an evolving threat on campus.” The incident that happened with Haddad highlighted the college’s inability to relay information quickly and reliably and why it is so important especially on such a large campus.

Haddad has since been expelled for his inappropriate behavior and will be arrested if seen on any of the district’s properties.

“I don’t normally act like that,” Haddad said. “I just wanted to test everyone to see if they’re racist or not by shouting slurs and sending death threats.”

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