Stevens Institute student enters 12th week in Hudson County jail

HOBOKEN — A 26-year-old student at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, who allegedly was angry after being suspended, has now spent nearly 12 weeks in the county jail in Kearny. He is facing deportation to China.
School officials allege that the doctoral student, Zhai Tiantian, called the school switchboard several months ago and said, “I’m going to burn that building down.” The case has received more attention in China, and according to the New York Times, it “has bloomed into a minor international incident … Chinese diplomats in New York have appealed to the university to help Mr. Zhai.”
A friend of Zhai told the Times that the student had used provocative language and threatened to sue and go to the media, but never meant any real violence.
Zhai apparently had been at Stevens for the last 10 years, receiving a bachelor’s degree and two master’s before working on a doctorate.
Then, this year, he was involved in some sort of romantic dispute, the Times cites a source as saying. A female grad school instructor filed a harassment complaint against him with the police, which led to his receiving a notice of suspension in March.

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