Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons
Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Cal State Fullerton police and school officials Thursday were investigating a physical conflict between students and a part-time faculty member.

The conflict happened Wednesday during a protest on the campus, according to Cal State Fullerton officials.

The university issued a statement saying it “prizes and promotes free and open expression. Any violent incident that attempts to impede free expression, however isolated, is unacceptable.”

Students with the Cal State Fullerton Republicans organization had staged a counter-protest at what they say was an “anti-Trump protest.”

Capt. Scot Wiley of the campus police department, however, said it “was actually a CSUF Students for Justice in Palestine planned rally/march.”

“Besides this one isolated incident, both sides were amicable and working well together, even as counter protesters,” Wiley said.

While both sides marched around the campus, a “CSUF lecturer approached the Republican group and started yelling at them,” Wiley said.

“He tripped on a bike rack and the group laughed at him so he became angry and `lunged’ toward three CSUF Republican students,” Wiley said. “He did make contact with each of the three, however only one student wanted to file charges.”

The campus police took a report and interviewed witnesses, the part-time faculty member and students and the alleged victim filed a “private persons arrest,” Wiley said.

Campus police turned the case over to Orange County District Attorney’s Office to review, Wiley said.

The Republican student organization claims part-time anthropology faculty member Eric Canin “argued” with the Republican students.

“Professor Canin can be seen on video calling the students `trolls,’ ” the organization claimed.

The organization alleged that the part-time faculty member slapped a student across the face.

“It’s unfortunate that young Republicans and College Republicans can’t take their safety for granted on campus and get attacked for their views,” said Christopher Boyle, president of the campus organization.

–City News Service

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