Death threat made with medical jargon over op-ed

LOS ANGELES -- A UCLA researcher is accused of making a death threat to a writer about an opinion piece he wrote for the Harvard Crimson titled "Troubles with Thai Studies," CBS Los Angeles reports.

"I swear that if I saw this [expletive] on the street I'd elbow his middle meningeal artery and leave him dead from epidural hematoma," UCLA microbiologist Peera Hemarajata allegedly posted on Facebook.

The bizarre threat was aimed at writer Ilya Garger, who is in Hong Kong.

Garger said the point of his piece was to discuss Harvard taking money from one political side in Thailand.

"It was surprising to see that a doctor, and especially one at UCLA, would say something so silly. I had to read up on Wikipedia to figure out what it is that he was going to do to me," Garger said.

Garger said he isn't surprised about Hemarajata's reaction because he purportedly said on his Facebook post that he is still loyal to the Thai monarchy. But Garger is surprised that UCLA says it cannot take action against Hemarajata for making a perceived threat.

UCLA said in a statement: "While UCLA and UCLA Health System abhor violence and condemn any threat of violence, we have no jurisdiction or authority to censor such hateful comments made in social media when they are made outside the course and scope of an employee's work."

"The university ought to consider taking stronger measures than just saying that they're not responsible," Garger said.

CBS Los Angeles tried to get a comment from Hemarajata, but his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts have all been taken down.

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