UCLA police make first arrest in attack on protest camp

More than three weeks after counterprotesters attacked a pro-Palestinian camp at the University of California, Los Angeles, university police have made the first arrest in connection with the attack: an 18-year-old who officers say beat pro-Palestinian protesters with a wooden stick .

UCLA police have not identified the man by name, but arrest records indicate he is Edan On. He faces one count of assault with a deadly weapon. Police say he seriously injured at least one person.

In videos of the April 30 attack on the encampment, a man in a light-colored hoodie and white mask can be seen waving a pole at several protesters. In one photo, there appears to be blood on the sleeve of his sweatshirt.

Mr. On’s mother told CNN that the man seen in those videos was her son, though she later told the network that he denied being there. She told CNN Last week she said her son was a high school student planning to join the Israeli army.

Mr. On was arrested Thursday morning at a Beverly Hills business, police said. Jail records show bail was set at $30,000.

Mr On’s mother and father declined to comment on Friday.

UCLA police are under intense pressure to identify and charge counterprotesters involved in the April 30 attack, which police allowed to continue for hours without intervening.

The university created a new campus safety department, temporarily fired the police chief and hired an outside police consultant to evaluate the response to the attack.

The new leader of the campus safety office, Rick Braziel, said in a statement Friday that university police are committed to identifying more perpetrators of the attack. “Those who have committed violence against our community will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

The attack took place days after students formed the camp, part of a wave of student protests against the Israeli invasion and bombing of Gaza. On the night of April 30, a group of counter-protesters — some of whom wore pro-Israel slogans on their clothing and played the Israeli national anthem — arrived and began trying to dismantle the camp. They dragged barricades away from the camp, punched and kicked protesters and threw fireworks into the crowd.

It wasn’t until around 3 a.m. on May 1 that police in riot gear intervened to separate the two groups. No one was arrested at that time.

The following night, UCLA called in city police officers to help clear the camp. More than 200 pro-Palestinian protesters who refused to leave were arrested.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block testified before a congressional committee on Thursday about his handling of student protests on campus. During the hearing, he came under intense questioning from Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, who asked him why none of the counterprotesters involved in the April 30 attack had been arrested.

“Are there people in jail?” she asked.

Jail records show that Mr. On was arrested during Dr. Block, but his arrest was not made public until Friday.

Jonathan Wolfe contributed reporting from Los Angeles. Alain Delaquérière contributed to research.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button