2/6/18 Spencer Au

Spencer Au, 22 and former student in the College of Liberal Arts, faces charges after allegedly pointing a gun at his roommate and using a stun gun on his other roommate, among other things. 

A former Purdue student accused of using a stun gun on one roommate and pointing a handgun at another in 2018 pleaded guilty last week and is serving 90 days in the Tippecanoe County Jail.

Spencer Au, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to battery, pointing a firearm at another and possession of marijuana. Five other counts, including criminal recklessness and drug possession, were dismissed as part of the agreement.

According to court records, a judge sentenced Au to two years and 180 days in the county jail but suspended all but 90 days. He will spend the remainder of the sentence on probation in California, where he will return.

Because of his felony convictions, Au will no longer be allowed to own firearms, according to court records.

Au told police when he was arrested in January 2018 he has struggled with depression and in the previous several months made several threats to kill himself; to cope, he self-medicated with various substances including marijuana, nitrous oxide and used a mild tranquilizer to go to sleep.

One of the roommates told West Lafayette Police that "Au was always on some type of drug," according to the affidavit.

Au had been a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, but, according to a Purdue spokesman, was no longer enrolled when he was arrested.

The two roommates told WLPD that Au's mood swings were getting worse with angry, impulsive behavior.

On the weekend of Jan. 13, 2018, at an apartment on Northwestern Avenue, Au allegedly became upset with one of his roommates and drew a semi-automatic handgun. The affidavit said that after being "admonished for his actions," Au put the gun down.

When friends visited the apartment the next weekend, "they were chasing around" when Au put a stun gun to the shoulder of his roommate and shocked him, according to the affidavit.

These events led the roommates to contact law enforcement. Officers found semi-automatic rifles, handguns, other rifles, shotguns, numerous magazines, a large quantity of ammunition, several tactical vests and a heavy bullet-proof vest with ballistic plates.

WLPD also found various drugs like Etizolam, which is a mild tranquilizer, and paraphernalia including bongs and pipes, vaporizers, grinders and rolling papers, according to the affidavit.

Two safes were found — and later opened by Au — which allegedly contained a plastic baggie with "cocaine" written on it; field tests later confirmed it was cocaine.

A different baggie was said to be labeled "amphetamine sulfate," which is a stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Alongside the baggies were two empty pill bottles, one labeled "Xanax" and the other "LSD-25," according to the affidavit.

Au admitted to both pointing the handgun at his roommate and using a stun gun on his other roommate.

In his sentencing order, Judge Steven Meyer noted Au had violated the terms of his bond by consuming illegal drugs and alcohol after his arrest, but also that he has expressed remorse and has family support. The judge also noted Au's mental health and developmental disorder issues.

As part of the terms of probation, Au was ordered to continue counseling and taking prescribed medications.


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