Crime, Law Professors, Law Schools

Law Prof Gets Pepper Sprayed During Class In Attempted Citizen’s Arrest Incident

You may think law professors have easy lives, but the truth is, they really don’t. Tossing papers down a staircase to grade them is rough. Writing articles that no one will read aside from poor law review techciters is demoralizing. Teaching “Law and [Insert Noun Here]” to students in search of easy A’s is likely painful. Getting pepper sprayed in the face while teaching one of those classes is excruciating.

Things can get crazy pretty quickly when law professors at Top 50 law schools get attacked during class. Where did this happen, and was the law prof injured? Keep reading to find out…

Professor Tyler Cowen is one of the most distinguished and prominent members of the George Mason Law faculty (in large part due to his popular blog, Marginal Revolution, and his column for the New York Times). Yesterday, things were going just swell in his Law and Literature class — until an unknown assailant entered his classroom, hopped on a desk, said he was about to make a citizen’s arrest, and proceeded to pepper spray Cowen in the face. WJLA ABC7 has additional details:

Tyler Cowen

Cowen ran into the hall, and the intruder chased him until an off-duty officer who happened to be a student in class caught him at one of the building’s exits and held him until police arrived. …

12 to 15 people, including the professor, were briefly treated by medics for breathing issues.

Apparently Cowen didn’t know the guy, but thankfully he and his students are all okay. GMU Law says the suspect isn’t enrolled at the school. No one is sure how he managed to get in with pepper spray and a stun gun.

Here’s some additional video coverage of the incident from WJLA ABC7:

We won’t find out who this mysterious man is until he’s formally charged (which we imagine will happen later today), but we’d love to know why he was acting out every law student’s deepest and darkest fantasy.

Man Arrested After Pepper Spraying GMU Law Prof [ARLNow]
GMU law professor pepper sprayed during lecture [WJLA ABC7]
Man Demands Citizen’s Arrest, Pepper Sprays George Mason Professor [CBS DC]
Law prof is pepper-sprayed during lecture by man who demands a citizen’s arrest [ABA Journal]

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