Watch CBS News

UCLA police make first arrest in April 30 attack on protest encampment

UCLA police make first arrest in attack encampment
UCLA police make first arrest in attack encampment 00:26

UCLA police made the first arrest in connection with the April 30 attack on a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus, taking an 18-year-old man into custody in Beverly Hills, the university announced Friday.

Officers arrested the suspect, identified as 18-year-old Edan On, on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon, campus police said. He was booked into jail Thursday, where he was being held on $30,000 bail. 

Investigators identified him from a video that allegedly shows him assaulting people staying inside the encampment with a wooden pole, leaving a least one person with serious injuries, according to UCLA police. He was tracked down after investigators spoke with witnesses, interviewed victims and reviewed security footage as well as other videos taken that night, the university said in a news release.

Fireworks going off at the pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA on April 30, 2024. KCAL News

UCLA said the suspect is not a student, faculty or staff member at the university.

The arrest was made a little over three weeks after a group of counter-protesters approached the encampment at the Westwood campus, leading to clashes, during which fireworks were thrown and some people were tear-gassed.

The "group of instigators came to Royce Quad and violently attacked students, faculty, and staff members who were engaged in an encampment at that location," read a previous statement from UCLA.

Rick Braziel, who was named head of the new Office of Campus Safety in the days following the protests, released a statement on the arrest confirming that it was the first one made in the ongoing investigation into the April 30 attack. 

"As Chancellor Block has shared, those who inflicted violence on our community will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," Associate Vice Chancellor Braziel said in the statement.

On Thursday, a day before the arrest was announced, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., criticized UCLA Chancellor Gene Block's leadership during a House hearing. Block testified about the response to campus protests, as well as the university's handling of allegations of discrimination against students and faculty.

While some lawmakers accused him of not doing enough to protect Jewish students from antisemitism, some blasted his oversight of law enforcement investigations into incidents of violence — most notably, the night of April 30.

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota told Block that UCLA leadership and law enforcement "stood by for hours" while a "mob of agitators" confronted people staying at the encampment. She held up a photograph from that night, calling it "appalling."

"Are any of these people in jail? Are any of these people arrested?" Omar asked the chancellor as she held up the photo.    

Block said LAPD detectives were looking through photos and other images to find potential suspects.

"It's been over a month," Omar responded.

Earlier this week, Rasha Gerges Shields, vice president for the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, asked LAPD investigators what they were doing to find assailants involved in violence at UCLA on the night of April 30. She said she had heard concerns from some in the Palestinian and Muslim American communities who were calling for justice.

"There's a concern that law enforcement's not doing enough to catch the perpetrators," Shields said. "I want to understand what role the department is taking in identifying and bringing to justice to those who were attacking the protesters."

LAPD Assistant Chief Daniel Randolph said the agency was assisting the UCLA Police Department in finding suspects, along with investigators from police departments of other universities within the University of California's 10-campus system. 

"I know that they are combing through digital evidence and looking to bring justice on that event," Randolph said of investigators looking through photos and video.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.