WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University Assistant Professor John Froiland, who taught classes in “positive emotions” and “parental involvement,” was arrested November 10 after allegedly beating his wife with a wooden chair leg in front of his 10-year-old child, whom he had locked in a dog cage.
Froiland was arrested on the preliminary charges of domestic battery, intimidation, interference in reporting a crime, neglect of a dependent and criminal confinement.
Police said that Froiland had confronted his wife at around 4:30 p.m. after she returned home from a shopping trip. He was upset for not knowing where she was all day and held her against a wall.
He then allegedly locked his 10-year-old child in a dog crate, broke off a leg from a wooden rocking chair, and struck his wife. He also had taken his wife’s phone so that way she couldn’t call 911, but she had managed to get away and free the child from the cage, grab her phone and leave the house to call authorities.
Chief Deputy Terry Ruley said that the wife’s arms were covered in welts and bruises when he arrived at a neutral location away from the home.
Froiland was later released on a $500 bond and was given a 10-day non-contact order per bond agreement.
School officials announced in an email on Monday that Froiland was on paid administrative leave, and that the remainder of his classes will be held asynchronously online.
Ayse Ciftci, the department head of the College of Education, had greeted his students this week in order to explain what was going on, as well as providing clarity on their schedules and talk about their concerns.
“I’m happy to meet you, but this is sad,” Ciftci had said to them. “Whatever you’re feeling is normal, and I share all these emotions. If you are willing, describe in one word how you are feeling right now.”
The students said they were feeling “angry,” “irritated” and “disgusted.”
“None of us could possibly have imagined that something like this might have happened,” Ala Samarapungavan, an education professor, had echoed the students.
“He’s worked here for many years. This was not expected,” Helen Patrick, another education professor, said. “Nothing gave us the slightest pause to even wonder.”
He had been employed as a Clinical Assistant Professor since August 2017.
No formal charges have been filed by Tippecanoe County Prosecutor as of this evening. Froiland has an initial court date set for January 3rd, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.