Virginia Tech Police were called to the Drillfield Wednesday afternoon following a report of a student stabbing his own hand with a pen.
The incident took place near a table promoting a local version of “Ask an Atheist Day.” The student group Freethinkers at Virginia Tech sponsored the table.
Witnesses said [freshman Alexander M.] Huppert stood near the table for nearly an hour. Approaching the table, Huppert borrowed a pen and drew a circle with a cross inside on the back of his hand.
Nicole Schrand, a senior psychology major, said Huppert then asked students at the table to stab him in the cross with the pen to “prove to us God existed.” The students declined.
“We don’t believe in assaulting people,” Schrand said. “We’re very against assaulting people.”
Huppert then asked for the pen back, a request Schrand and other students declined. Seeing another pen, Huppert grabbed it and began stabbing himself in the back of the hand.
This takes place three days before the fourth anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre…
(Thanks to Lauren for the link)
***Update***: The atheist student quoted in the article, Nicole Schrand, has her own thoughts on her website:
It was absolutely horrible. I mean, it’s pretty awful in the first place to have someone request that you stab them in the hand. And then to have him stab himself in front of you. Blood was welling up out of the wounds afterward. The two guys who helped subdue him had their hands covered in blood. And in case it wasn’t clear in the article, he wasn’t just scratching at his wrist with the pen — it looked like he was trying to drive it through his radial artery.
… I’m incredibly grateful that Tyler Pease had the presence of mind and the proper manner to be able to help in the way that he did. Pease is a Cru member, and was talking to us when the incident began. If he hadn’t been able to calm Huppert down, I suspect things would have been a lot worse, as we volunteers felt unable to come around to the other side of the table without chancing provoking Huppert further. Even if we don’t share the same views on everything, Tyler Pease was a hero in my book today.