UNC Police: Knife-wielding suspect taken to hospital

tgrubb@newsobserver.comMarch 24, 2014 

— The man who threatened students Sunday at UNC-Chapel Hill has been committed to UNC Hospitals for a psychiatric evaluation, a police spokesman said Monday.

Formal charges against Jesse Alan Kister, 31, of 239 Schultz St., Chapel Hill, are pending his release from the hospital, said Randy Young, spokesman for the UNC-CH Department of Public Safety.

Young said UNC police got a call around 4 p.m. Sunday about a man with knives near the Frank Porter Graham Student Union on campus. The man left the student union before police arrived, but Chapel Hill police took him into custody a short time later in a church parking lot near East Franklin Street and Raleigh Road.

The suspect had four knives in his possession, Young said. No one was injured, he said.

The incident prompted UNC-CH officials to activate the Alert Carolina emergency system, which sounded sirens campuswide and prompted emails and text messages about the incident to students, faculty and staff.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Kister earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from UNC-CH in health information systems, health policy management and information science. He has worked for several technology and health-care companies, and last year, he co-founded Algorhythmic L3C, a health-care informatics consulting firm.

A pair of UNC-CH students also reported an incident Saturday involving a man who later was identified as Kister.

Sophomore Peter Diaz, 20, said he and a friend were eating Saturday at the Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom when a man they did not know sat down beside them. The man began muttering under his breath and followed them outside when they left the restaurant, Diaz said.

The man shined a laser pointer at him, Diaz said. When he asked the man about it, Diaz said the man pulled out a switchblade knife and told them to keep walking. The men reported the incident to Chapel Hill police but decided not to file charges against Kister, Diaz said.

Kister has a previous driving while impaired conviction from 2001 for which he received probation.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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