High school student arrested for alleged attack at UCLA encampment won't face felony charges

Edan On, the high school student arrested for allegedly attacking a pro-Palestinian demonstrator at an encampment on UCLA's campus in April will have his case referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, which will consider filing misdemeanor charges. District Attorney George Gascón's office made the announcement Friday. 

Beginning on April 30, pro-Israel counterprotesters clashed with demonstrators in the pro-Palestine encampment that had been established on campus. The pro-Israel demonstrators tried dismantling the encampment. As a result, multiple fights broke out between the two groups. On is accused of attacking one of the pro-Palestine protesters that night, hitting him repeatedly with a pole. 

The UCLA Police Department arrested On on May 23, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, a felony. 

"Detectives interviewed witnesses and victims and reviewed security camera footage from the pro-Palestinian demonstration to identify the suspect, who was not affiliated with the campus and was allegedly among a group who violently attacked students, faculty and staff April 30," according to a statement from the UCLA Police Department from that day.

SUGGESTED: Man arrested for attack on UCLA pro-Palestine encampment

On Friday, Gascón's office said that On would not face felony charges for the alleged attack.

"We cannot establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. On’s conduct directly caused the victim’s injury," the DA's office said in a statement. "There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. On was working in collaboration with any other individuals; and our investigation found no proof of conspiracy or any organized effort by Mr. On related to the incident. Given these factors, we believe that the appropriate course of action is to refer the matter to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, which will consider misdemeanor filing."

The UCLA Police Department faced scrutiny for their handling of the conflicts that night, with many alleging the department's slow response led to multiple injuries. Less than a week later, dozens of officers dismantled the encampment, arresting more than 200 protesters in the process. 

Later in May, the university announced that UCLA Police Chief John Thomas had been removed from his role and reassigned.

The UCLA PD is still investigating the April 30 attacks.