I'm a PhD student in ECE at Purdue University, I have been working on the degree very hard for 5 years, and I have only 3 month to write up thesis, defend my thesis and finish the study and graduate.
But now, my school is suspending me and I have the chance of being expelled and I need to collect the money to pay my attorney because of that.
You may have heard bits and pieces of information from me before, but my attorney helped me put together what happened and I couldn't have done this without the help, and here's what happened, I told Purdue the what happened as show below:
In April 2018, I got an internship with HITACHI in Michigan and was very excited for the 6-month opportunity in computer vision. I told many of my family and friends about the news, including Tony, my flight instructor.I even told the clerk working at the chase bank about the internship. Everyone was happy for me.
Before I started working at HITACHI, I was looking for
housing in Michigan, and the recuiter asked me whether I’m looking for a
roommate. Rent in Farmington Hills is expensive, so I told the recruiter that I
would like to find a roommate, and I thought living with another intern at
HITACHI would not be a problem. The recruiter connected me with Rishi Mishra,
who is from India. Rishi and I rented an apartment in Farmington Hills. He did
not have a car or any furniture, so I took him to the store to buy the things
he needed. I drove him to Hitachi for work and other places he wanted to go.
Even though I was kind to Rishi, he was very difficult to
live with. He constantly said rude things to me. He left the apartment messy
and had very bad body odor. He said things that really bothered me, for
example, that I should lie to my parents and that he would try to sell my car to
get rent money. He also told me that I was in danger of being attacked because
I looked young and could be easily attacked. He said I should buy a gun to protect
myself. He told me that he carried a knife to protect himself. We were
roommates for June, July, August, and September.
There were other interns at Hitachi, Nitisha, Muataz, Samuel and Osuma. We sometimes discussed our projects. At first, everything is normal. Then Rishi began to say mean things to me. He told me that I would not be able to get a job in the United States because the law says so. Osama insulted me by saying that I would only be able to work at Taco Bell. He teased me a lot and acted unprofessionally. He told me dirty jokes and gave me strange looks that made me nervous.He did not treat the other interns this way. I asked another intern and a friend what I should do about it. The intern told me not to tell the supervisor because things would get worse. My friend told me that I should focus on my work and ignore him. So I decided to ignore him but I still felt nervous about him and felt uncomfortable at work.
In June, another Indian intern named Sunny also came to Hitachi. Rishi and Sunny became very good friends, they sit next to each other, they work on the same project, and they discussed in their own language loudly in everyday of the internship. Sunny was living at a friend’s place, but he asked us if he can live in our living room starting September 24th because by then he will have no place to live, me and rishi agreed. Sunny and Rishi were always talking loudly in the apartment and were rude to me. I heard them talking about me a couple of times. This made me feel uncomfortable and afraid of them. I tried to stay in my room as much as possible to get away from them.
Late in September Sunny and Rishi were cooking in the kitchen. I also wanted to cook but Rishi started saying rude things to me and harassing me. Then they said that Osuma had come over while I was sleeping and they were talking about me. When I asked what they said, he told me, “You will find out” with a strange smile on his face. This made me scared and worried that they were going to do something mean to me. I was afraid for my safety. I wanted to move out and find a different apartment but I had nowhere to go and only six weeks left in my internship.
On Sunday, September 30, I was hungry but still afraid of
Rishi and Sunny and what they might be planning so I did not cook at home. I
went out to eat. While I was at the restaurant I decided that I should get away
from Rishi and Sunny and visit my family at home. I missed them very much and
had not seen them in a long time. When I got home Rishi and Sunny were in the
living room being loud as usual and I was afraid of them. I went in my room to
get away from Rishi and Sunny. I tried to book a plane ticket home to China for
a visit but the website said that I could not book the ticket and that I would
need additional assistance. My friend Tony works for American Airlines so I
thought I would ask him if he can help me with this.
I called Tony and told him that I needed help with the
ticket. He asked me a lot of questions. I tried to explain to him the problems
I was having with my roommates and Osuma. I felt afraid of Rishi, Sunny, and
Osuma and what they might do to me. I was very upset and missing my family. This
made my English not so good and I think I might have said things in a wrong way.
I tried to explain that my relationship with Rishi, Sunny and Osuma was very
bad and that I wanted my relationship with them to be finished. I wanted to end
my relationship with them. I did not want to see them every day and deal with
their bad behavior. I was afraid and needed help.
While I was trying to explain this to Tony he asked me if I
killed someone. I said “No, why would I kill anyone?” Tony said to tell him
what happened. I said that I wanted to book a ticket to China and could he help
me. Tony again said “Tell me what happened.” I tried again to explain that I
wanted to be done with Rishi, Sunny, and Osuma but Tony did not understand what
I meant. Because my English is not so good I think I might have used a wrong
word to describe the problem. Maybe I used words that made Tony think I did
something bad to someone.
While I was trying to explain, Tony said “I’m driving back
home right now. Why don’t you think about it and tell me what happened. I’ll
call you when I get there. I’m hanging up now.” I was angry that he hung up on
me and that he was not helping me. I was scared of Rishi and Sunny and the plan
they had with Osuma to do something to me. I was afraid that they might do
something that night while I was sleeping. I felt that I was in danger and I
panicked. I thought that I needed to get Tony’s attention so, I texted him “I
killed someone” even though this was not true. I thought that if I said that
then he would call me back right away and help me.
Instead, Tony texted me with lots of questions that I did not understand. I told him that I did not mean what I said. I tried to explain that it was a mistake for me to have texted that and that I was sorry. But my words got very mixed up and we did not understand each other. When I texted “Tony, I’m sorry, please don’t kill me”, I meant please don’t be angry at me. Americans seem to use the word “kill” to mean different things. They say, “Oh, you’re killing me!” or they say to “kill the switch” or “kill it” when they want something to be turned off to or to end. I thought I was using the word like this. When I texted “I didn’t mean to kill anybody”, I meant that I did not intend to hurt anybody’s feelings. When I texted “I thought you think I’m evil”, I meant that I thought Tony was mad at me.
Tony continued asking me questions, but I did not understand what he meant. He seemed very upset and I was afraid that he was upset with me. I tried to explain that I used to like Rishi as a roommate but when he started acting bad, I tried to ignore him. I also tried to explain to Tony that I just needed his help, but he did not understand. My attorney has explained to me why Tony might be confused by what I said and how my words could be misunderstood. I did not mean to cause trouble when I said “I killed someone.” I panicked and said the wrong thing. I am very sorry for this. I am sorry to Tony and am I sorry to Purdue. I said the wrong thing and I made a mistake. I will not do that again. Please forgive me.
There is more to the story. Tony called the police to check
on me. When the police came they asked me to come out into the hallway and they
asked me many questions. I did not understand many of the police’s questions
but I tried to answer them as best I could. I was alone in the hallway with
them and I still felt very panicked about what Rishi and Sunny and Osuma might
be planning. When the police asked me if I hear voices in my head, I did not
understand what they meant. I thought they were asking if I can hear other
people’s voices and I thought that was a strange question. I did not understand
that the police meant “do you hear voices that do not really exist.” I have
never heard voices like that.
The police asked me who Tony was and how I knew him. I
explained that he was my flight instructor. Tony and I have never dated and he
was not my boyfriend. When the police asked how I knew Tony I explained to the
police that there was one time Tony and I had gone out for a drink when we were
supposed have a flying lesson because the weather was too bad for flying. I
think this is why the police said in the police report that we dated.
The police called Tony and talked to him for a long time. Then they searched my apartment and my car. They found a target with bullet holes in it from when I went to a shooting range. I had gone to a shooting range once before with friends in California and it was fun. I went to only one other time while I was at my internship at Hitachi. The target was left-over from that time. I never wanted to own a gun and I have never tried to buy one.
After they searched everything they told that I had to come with them for a mental evaluation. I did not understand what this meant. I refused to go but they handcuffed me and dragged me to the police car. I got bruises on my arms from where they grabbed me and dragged me. I thought they were kidnapping me because I did not commit any crime. There was no reason for them to arrest me. They told me that if I cooperated it would be easier. I did not want to get hurt so I cooperated. Then they put me in an ambulance.
I still had my phone so I texted another intern and texted Tony to ask for help. I was terrified because I did not know where the police were taking me or what they were going to do to me. The intern called HR at Hitachi and someone from HR texted me. I explained that the police took me and I did not know why. I tried to explain that my roommates and Osuma were harassing me and that I wanted to get away from them. I asked her to help me. She called 911 and the hospital and then told me that I could take a few days off from work.
I was taken to Beaumont hospital where they took all my belongings away, including my cell phone and my shoes. The hospital injected me with medicine and I did not know what it was. I was very afraid of what they were doing to me. I thought maybe this is what they do to criminals and they thought I was a criminal. Then I was transferred to Havenwyck Hospital. The conditions were very bad. They put me in a room that smelled like tears and I wanted to vomit. I was only allowed to call people if I could remember their phone numbers from memory and I could not dial internationally so I could not call my family. I was alone and terrified. I couldn’t sleep and the other patients at the hospital acted crazy. One of the patients kept telling me that the hospital was injecting us with HIV. I did not believe her but she scared me. Another patient was violent and punched the wall. I was afraid she might attack me.
After nine days I was released. I went straight to Hitachi and talked to HR. They said that I would need a letter from the doctor stating that I could return to work. I could not call the hospital to ask for the letter because the hospital forgot to give me my cell phone when I was released. So, I had to wait for it to be mailed to me. Once I got my phone back I called the hospital several times and asked for the letter. The hospital did not respond. Finally, I drove to the hospital and got the letter in person. The letter states that I am stable and could return to work and school. Before I give the letter to Hitachi, they said that I could be done with the internship. When I said that I really wanted to come back and finish they told me that the internship ended early. So, I did not abandon the internship. I did everything I could to finish it after these tragic events.
I worked at the internship for four months. The internship
ended only six weeks early. I worked very hard at the Hitachi internship. I
often worked until midnight because I wanted to produce excellent results and
get a good job after graduation. I hope Purdue will still give me credit for
the internship because I worked more than 40 hours a week there and my
supervisors were pleased with my work. If Purdue wants proof of this, I will
get letters from my supervisors.
When I received the letter from Purdue stating that I was
suspended, I was very angry. After everything I had been through—harassed by my
roommates and the other intern, questioned by the police and forced into a
police car, taken to a mental hospital and forced to stay there for nine days
against my will—the suspension letter made me very mad. I did not know what to
do. I went online to ask other students how to handle this. Because my English
is not so good and because I did not understand everything that happened to me,
I was not able to explain the problem to the students very well. Their
responses to my questions made me more angry and it seemed like there was no
one who could help me at all. My education and Ph.D. are the most important things
to me in this world. Receiving the suspension letters was even more frightening
than being taken away by the police. I am sorry if I overreacted or was rude to
other students. I really did not mean to be. I was just so angry and scared. I
am sorry for any trouble I caused.
I also contacted Tony after I got out of the hospital. I
wanted to understand what happened. It seemed to me that he may have told the
police to take me to the hospital. I did not understand why he did this. I
thought he was my friend. I tried to explain to Tony some of the things that
happened to me and what was going on in my life that lead up to these events but
he did not respond. After a while I understood that he did not want to be
friends any more. I have not talked with Tony since then.
I am very sad about all of these events. I never wanted any
of this to happen. I am a kind and gentle person. I would never hurt anyone. I
made a mistake when I texted Tony that “I killed someone.” I should not have
said that. I will never do that again. Tony was my friend and I did not mean to
hurt him or cause him any trouble. I only wanted his help.
Now all I want is to finish my Ph.D. I have worked very hard
for it and am so close to completing it. If I can have credit for my internship
then I only have to write and defend my dissertation. Professor Allebach, my
advisor, has explained in two letters that I am an excellent student and have
performed high quality work. I have
invested thousands of dollars and countless hours in this degree. It means
everything to me. It is my entire life and my future.
My request to you is that I be permitted to complete my
Ph.D. and graduate from Purdue. I do not need to be on campus to do this. As
Professor Allebach says in his letter, I can write and defend my dissertation
remotely. This way no one has any security concerns. Please forgive me and
allow me to complete my Ph.D.