The Journal Gazette
Saturday, October 09, 2021 1:00 am

Probation for ex-prof pointing gun

Got into political argument at bar

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A former Purdue University Fort Wayne chemistry professor was given a suspended sentence and placed on probation Friday after admitting he pointed a gun during what witnesses said was a heated political discussion at a local bar.

Donald E. Linn Jr., 66, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor pointing an unloaded firearm at another person. A felony charge of pointing a firearm was dismissed.

Allen Superior Court Judge Steven Godfrey handed Linn a one-year suspended sentence and placed him on probation for a year.

Purdue Fort Wayne had placed Linn on administrative leave pending the outcome of his charges. The university said Friday Linn no longer works there.

The charges, filed in January, stem from a Nov. 21 incident at Dicky's 21 Taps on Maplecrest Road.

According to witnesses, Linn sat at the end of the bar nearest the kitchen talking politics with other restaurant patrons. As the discussion progressed, it became heated and began to involve others at the bar, court documents said.

Video from the bar shows Linn standing and pointing at one of the men during their conversation.

The manager and bartender asked Linn to stop discussing politics, but he refused. As the discussion got more intense, the manager and bartender asked him to pay his tab and leave, and he again refused, court documents said.

The manager told police Linn pointed the gun directly at her face and she feared for her life. He then threw a fake bill with then-President Donald Trump's image on it at the bartender, court records said. 

A man then got up from the far end of the bar and walked toward Linn, who took a step back and drew a black handgun from the holster on his right hip. He pointed the gun at the man and then started to back out of the bar area, waving the gun “in random directions” at people in the bar area as he left the restaurant, court documents said.

He continued to point the gun at patrons until he exited the main entrance. Patrons could be seen in the video backing away from Linn and others getting out of their seats and ducking down by the bar or tables in the restaurant, court records said.

One witness took a video when Linn drew his gun and then pointed it at him, court documents said.

Another witness said Linn got mad at him when he told Linn he didn't vote. Linn accused him of being the problem with the country and the outcome of the presidential election.

That witness also said Linn pointed the gun at him, court records said.

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