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Adult student reading 'The Crucible' accused of witchcraft

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FERNDALE, Mich. - A man assigned "The Crucible" in an adult education English class doused his teacher with a nonflammable liquid and threatened to burn her as a witch, police said.

Darin Najor, 20, ran from the classroom after the attack Sept. 11 and was sent for psychiatric evaluation after telling police "he was trying to kill the witch by pouring holy water over her head," Detective Ken Denmark said.

He was arrested Monday and scheduled for arraignment this month on misdemeanor charges of assault and battery.

The day before the dousing, Najor had asked the teacher whether she believed in witchcraft, police said. She told him she did not, calling Arthur Miller's play based on the 1692 Salem witch trials a metaphor for unjust persecution.

"The suspect threw his homework papers on the floor and declared it was all blasphemy," Denmark said. "The next day he came up behind her chanting what sounded like religious verses while she was working at her desk."

Court officials had no indication Najor had an attorney, and The Associated Press could not find a telephone number for him.

Police did not identify the teacher.

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