Desmond Edwards, who was 17 when he was arrested for assaulting a police officer, will be tried as adult
Desmond Edwards, the 18-year-old Deltopia reveler arrested last Spring for assaulting a UCSB Police Department (UCPD) police officer on the evening of the Deltopia riots, has been scheduled for trial on March 24 and faces charges of assault, resisting arrest and causing great bodily injury.
Edwards, who was 17 years old at the time of his arrest in April and is now being tried as an adult, allegedly struck UCPD police officer Tony Magaña in the face with a backpack containing glass bottles of liquor after being pursued by authorities down the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive on April 5. The incident sparked onlookers to begin throwing rocks and bottles at deputies who came to provide reinforcement and ultimately degenerated into a full scale riot between revelers and police, ending with police shutting down DP and firing on crowds with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Fourth-year financial math and statistics and French double major Sophie Talbot said she had just woken up from a nap when the Deltopia riots broke out and stayed inside her house on the 6500 block of DP while she watched the violence unfold.
“[Edwards] should be treated as a criminal that assaulted a police officer and also as someone who ruined a community as a whole,” Talbot said in an email. “Not only did people get hurt, but it also completely screwed up a place we call home.”
Associated Students Community Affairs Board Public Relations Co-Chair and second-year art major Roberto Pérez said Edwards acted ignorantly when he assaulted Magaña.
“[With] scarring an officer over something as stupid as getting away with his alcohol, he better expect repercussions for his actions,” Pérez said in an email.
There were lots of people, mostly strangers who don’t understand the culture of I.V., and anything can happen when there’s alcohol and large crowds. – Associated Students Community Affairs Board Public Relations Co-Chair Roberto Pérez
According to Talbot, law enforcement had difficulty controlling the riots because no one could have foreseen the violence that occurred that night.
“The police and I.V. could have been as prepared as they could have been,” Talbot said in an email. “Never would they have expected someone smashing a bottle on a police officer’s head.”
Pérez said it is difficult to determine if the riots could have been prevented if Edwards had not assaulted Magaña because of the ambiguity that occurs with large crowds and alcohol.
“I think it’s hard to say,” Pérez said in an email. “There were lots of people, mostly strangers who don’t understand the culture of I.V., and anything can happen when there’s alcohol and large crowds.”
A.S. External Vice President of Local Affairs (EVPLA) Cameron Schunk said he hopes the events that unfolded in April are not repeated in the future.
“I don’t like to see students be punished, but at the same time I don’t like to see officers be assaulted,” Schunk said. “What I really hope for is in the future we don’t see events like this occurring as often.”
Schunk said he thinks Isla Vista’s adaptive nature will help prevent Deltopia from being as violent as it was last spring.
“I don’t foresee anything like this occurring again,” Schunk said. “I think that this year there is a collective feeling that we have to kind of change the culture of Deltopia and make it something that won’t bubble over to what it has become.”