WSU Vancouver evacuated due to threat

WSU Vancouver evacuated due to threat »Play Video

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - The Vancouver branch of Washington State University was evacuated Tuesday night because of threatening graffiti discovered in a campus restroom shortly before an evening conference on the Patriot Act and the war on terror, authorities said.

University officials decided to evacuate the campus about 6:30 p.m. after the graffiti was found, according to Sgt. Mike Cooke of the Clark County sheriff's office.

The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver reported the graffiti scrawled in a women's restroom referred to the killings at Virginia Tech and included words, to the effect, that if the tragedy in Virginia was horrifying, wait until 8 p.m.

The threat came on the same night that Brandon Mayfield, an attorney wrongly arrested by FBI agents after the 2004 Madrid terrorist bombings, was scheduled to appear on campus as part of a forum on civil liberties titled "Casualties of the USA Patriot Act and the War on Terror."

His wife, Mona Mayfield, said they drove to the campus and were told to leave. Mayfield said she was told the event would be rescheduled.

The campus typically has about 500 students attending classes at the time it was evacuated, said Lynn Valenter, vice chancellor for finance and operations.

The seating capacity at the Mayfield event was about 200, she said. The campus covers about 350 acres of rolling, wooded hills but has no student housing.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)