Criminal Charges Dropped Against University of Arizona Students Who Harassed Border Patrol Agents

The Associated Press
Gregory Bull/AP

Criminal charges have been dropped against three University of Arizona students who filmed themselves harassing border patrol agents last month at a career fair on campus.

Three students — Denisse Moreno Melchor, Mariel Alexandra Bustamante, and Marianna Ariel Coles-Curtis — who harassed and followed Border Patrol agents during a career fair last month have had all of the charges they faced dropped, according to a report by AZCentral.

The students had initially been charged with a “class 1 misdemeanors for interference with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution.” Moreno Melchor, the student who had filmed the incident, faced a second charge for threats and intimidation.

All charges for the three students have been dropped, according to the Pima County Justice Court website, which shows that the students’ court hearings were vacated after motions to dismiss criminal charges were granted on Friday, and also lists the charges against the students as “not referred for prosecution.”

“We are glad that the Pima County Attorney dropped the charges against the three University of Arizona students. Punishing these students in a criminal court would discourage students from voicing their concerns on campus in the future,” added the ACLU of Arizona on Twitter.

The students had been charged after an incident last month in which they filmed themselves harassing border two patrol agents at a career fair on the university’s campus. During the encounter, the students can be heard taunting the two men, calling them “an extension of the KKK” and chanting “murder patrol” as they followed them down the hallways of the school and to their vehicles.

The border patrol agents were on the university’s campus after having been invited to speak to criminal justice majors about opportunities in law enforcement.

“We respect the decision and will continue to follow our processes and the law,” said the University of Arizona in a statement, “The University is moving forward with the Dean of Students’ process review of the incident per our policies.”

According to AZCentral, University of Arizona president Robert Robbins has faced calls for his resignation by student protesters after defending the campus police chief’s decision to charge the students.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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