St. Joseph man reaches plea deal over SJ-O threats

URBANA — Uriah N. Fosdick of St. Joseph has pleaded guilty in Champaign County Circuit Court to felony disorderly conduct.

The charges resulted from Fosdick, 34, making threats against St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

As part of Monday's plea agreement, a second charge of making a terrorist threat was dismissed.

Judge Tom Difanis sentenced Fosdick to 106 days in the county jail, with credit for the 106 days he has already served, plus 30 months of probation.

Fosdick is currently being held in Vermilion County where he awaits trial for criminal charges in that county. Difanis said that Fosdick may not transfer his probation to Vermilion County.

Superintendent Jim Acklin sent out a message to St. Joseph-Ogden parents, alerting them to Fosdick's plea deal.

Acklin said part of the conditions for his release are that Fosdick can come no closer than 1,500 feet to St. Joseph-Ogden High School, and that he can have no contact with any student from St. Joseph-Ogden High School. Fosdick's house is located at 513 N. Main St. in St. Joseph. The house is located adjacent to the SJO student parking lot.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said high school officials and the sheriff's office had attempted to work with Fosdick for several months to resolve his conflicts with high school students.

According to Rietz, he had issues with students he believed were playing their music too loudly or honking their horns outside his house or otherwise aggravating him.

In response, Rietz said he approached some students either in the school parking lot or by following them in a threatening manner or getting out and yelling at them,.

Rietz said he has called the sheriff's office several times to report students honking their horns outside his home. She cited one report where he called the sheriff's office after finding a Dairy Queen cup in his yard, which he believed had been purposely placed there.

On Jan. 5, Rietz said after hearing a horn honk outside his home, Fosdick and his wife got in their car and followed the vehicle to a park, confronting the 16-year-old male driver from Rantoul.

The teen was concerned enough about his safety, Rietz said, that he armed himself with a baseball bat that he had in his car. Rietz said the deputy's report said that the 16-year-old was familiar with Fosdick and his reaction to horn honking.

Fosdick was arrested on Jan. 12 after made a threatening comment to a Champaign County sheriff's deputy who had come to his home to serve him with a notice to appear in court for an earlier disorderly conduct charge. According to Rietz, Fosdick told the deputy: "You know Columbine and Connecticut. I'm going to be that guy. I'm going to deal with it, and then you guys are going to have to deal with me."

In Vermilion County, Fosdick faces charges of aggravated fleeing and reckless driving.

On June 16, 2012, a Vermilion County sheriff's deputy reported seeing what he believed was a suspicious vehicle about 3:30 a.m. and tried to stop it on a county road west of Bismarck. The driver, later identified as Fosdick, refused to stop, leading deputies on a chase estimated to have reached up to 90 mph.

It finally ended in St. Joseph. When Fosdick refused deputies' orders to get on the ground, he was shocked with a Taser, Rietz said.

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rsp wrote on April 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm

So I'm just curious, is the school going to now take responsibility of it's students? When they go out of their way to taunt this man, will they be charged with harassment?

Marti Wilkinson wrote on April 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm

"State's Attorney Julia Rietz said high school officials and the sheriff's office had attempted to work with Fosdick for several months to resolve his conflicts with high school students."

It looks like the sheriffs office and the high school did their best to address his concerns. According to Champaign County property records, the Fosdicks do not own the house they live in. So, if they are renting the house, why not just pick up and move when the lease runs out? I might be somewhat more sympathetic if he was a homeowner, and stuck with having to find a potential buyer for the place.

Anyone who lives close to a school building would be aware of increased traffic and noise at specific times. I did a sub teaching gig last semester in St. Joseph and walked a couple of disabled kids to the local Subway across the street, I'm sure glad I didn't encounter Fosdick. I was kind of irked that the coop that I worked through didn't inform me that there was a resident making threats.