LA County declines to charge man recorded attacking pro-Palestine protesters at UCLA, refers case to city attorney’s office

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Friday declined to charge Edan On, the 18-year-old accused of attacking pro-Palestinian protesters at UCLA in April, citing insufficient evidence and referring the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor filing consideration.

On was identified by his mother to CNN as the man in a white hoodie attacking protesters with a long pole in videos distributed across social media. He was arrested on suspicion of felony assault in May.

“Our office has completed a thorough review of the incident involving Mr. Edan On who allegedly assaulted another protestor,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a Friday news release.

“We cannot establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. On’s conduct directly caused the victim’s injury. 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,” the district attorney added.

“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.”

CNN was the first to identify On, along with other counterprotesters, through a review of hundreds of hours of video, social media posts and interviews. Video shows the 18-year-old striking a pro-Palestinian protester with a pole and continuing to strike him even when he was down, as fellow counterprotesters piled on.

The UCLA Police Department previously confirmed On was on the UCLA campus on April 30 and “was seen on video assaulting encampment occupants with a wooden pole.” He was arrested by UCLA Police in Beverly Hills on May 23 and released on $30,000 bail the next day.

On’s mother initially boasted in a now-deleted social media post about her son’s participation in the violent event, circling an image of him and writing “he is all over the news channels.” She later told CNN her son denied being at UCLA that night.

Law enforcement stood by for hours as counterprotesters attacked the encampment, one of dozens that erupted at college campuses to protest Israel’s war in Gaza. While law enforcement did not track injuries fro m the attack, the encampment’s organizers previously said at least 25 protesters were taken to local emergency rooms for treatment for their injuries from April 30, which included fractures, severe lacerations and chemical-induced injuries.

On is the first individual facing charges in connection with the violent attack. A criminal investigation into the events on April 30 at the UCLA campus is ongoing, according to the district attorney’s office.

The district attorney’s news release says “one other matter involving the UCLA demonstration has been presented to the office and is currently under review.”

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