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Reports detail Loughner's troubling encounters with Pima campus police.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- For four years, Jared Loughner was an unremarkable college student, commuting from his home to Pima Community College where he studied yoga and algebra, business management and poetry.

But last year, his classroom conduct began to change. In February, Loughner stunned a teacher by talking about blowing up babies, a bizarre outburst that marked the start of a rapid unraveling for the 22-year old, who is accused of slaying six people and wounding 13, including U. S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

After that first flare-up, campus police decided not to intervene.

"I suggested they keep an eye on him," an officer wrote.

Loughner's on-campus behavior grew increasingly erratic, menacing, even delusional. Fifty-one pages of police reports released by the college provided a chilling portrait of Loughner's last school year, which ended in October when he voluntarily dropped out of school after learning he had been suspended from classes.

On Sept. 23, just six days before his suspension, an officer called to quiet another one of Loughner's outbursts described him as incomprehensible, his eyes jittery, his head awkwardly tilted.

"He very slowly began telling me in a low and mumbled voice that under the Constitution, which had been written on the wall for all to see, he had the right to his 'freedom of thought' and whatever he thought in his head he could also put on paper.... His teacher 'must be required to accept it' as a passing grade," a report on the incident said.

"It was clear he was unable to fully understand his actions," the officer wrote.

The reports provide the most detailed accounts so far of Loughner's troubles at the college, and he is depicted at times as "creepy," "very hostile" and "having difficulty understanding what he had done wrong in the classroom." School officials have not said if the reports were shared with any authorities beyond campus.

During his first outburst, in a poetry class, he made comments about abortion, wars and killing people, then asked: "Why don't we just strap bombs to babies?"

In an April report, librarians called police because Loughner, with ear buds, was making so much noise at a computer it was disturbing others. He promised it would not happen again.

But a month later, he became hostile with a Pilates instructor when he learned he was going to receive a B in the class. The teacher told police Loughner said the grade was unacceptable.

Outside of class, she spoke with Loughner and later told police she felt the discussion "might become physical." The professor was so concerned she wanted a campus police officer to watch over her class.

According to school officials, Loughner enrolled at Pima in the summer of 2005. He was suspended Sept. 29 after campus police discovered a YouTube video in which Loughner claimed the college was illegal under the U.S. Constitution.

In all, he had five run-ins with police on two campuses.

In early June, the dean's office received a report that Loughner had disrupted a math class when he started arguing with the professor about a number. The possibility of a suspension was raised at the time, but no action was taken.

In a second report on the math class, Loughner proclaimed he had a fight to exercise his freedom of speech. "I was not disruptive, I was only asking questions that related to math," he was quoted as saying.

DeLisa Siddall, a counselor in the Educational Support Department, asked Loughner to explain the dispute. "My instructor said he called a number 6 and I said 'I call it 18,'" the report said.

The report added that Loughner said he paid $200 for the class "so he should have a right to speak." He said he felt that he was being scammed, as he had been in other classes.

Loughner was warned that the behavior had to stop or disciplinary action would begin. Since Loughner chose to continue attending class but remain silent, she "had no grounds to keep him out of class," Siddall wrote.

On Nov. 30, the same day he bought the Glock, Loughner posted a YouTube video, seething about campus police and the college.

"If the police remove you from the educational facility for talking then removing you from the educational facility for talking is unconstitutional," he said on the video. "The situation is fraud because the police are unconstitutional...Every Pima Community College class is always a scam!"

School officials told Loughner and his parents that to return to classes he would need to undergo a mental health exam to show he was not a danger. He never returned.

Some observers have criticized the college for not taking steps to mandate that he have a psychiatric evaluation, which in Arizona is easier than in many states.

Paul Schwalbach, a college spokesman, told The New York Times that Loughner's "behavior, while clearly disturbing, was not a crime, and we dealt with it in a way that protected our students and our employees."
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Title Annotation:around the nation
Publication:Community College Week
Geographic Code:1U8AZ
Date:Jan 24, 2011
Words:832
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