Well-Known Professor Pepper Sprayed During Lecture

Professor Tyler Cowen was teaching class at George Mason University when a man ran in and attempted a citizen's arrest.

Well-Known Professor Pepper Sprayed During Lecture
Mercatus Center / GMU

The man who hit a George Mason University professor with pepper spray during his lecture Wednesday has been identified. Turns out, he is not a student at the school.

"Jonathan Pendleton, you see him here -- is accused of walking into a classroom and attacking professor Tyler Cowen. Pendleton yelled 'citizen's arrest!' before the attack. Police arrested him as he tried to handcuff the professor."

Yes, an arrest during an attempted citizen's arrest, apparenty. Pendleton is facing serious charges — abduction and assault. He'll get a hearing next month. 

WUSA reports Pendleton jumped on a desk, sprayed Cowen and then started chasing him before an off-duty officer subdued him.

According to The Washington Post, a student tried to intervene, but Pendleton hit the student with a stun gun.


But, why? Well, Cowen is a popular economist and blogger.

According to some reports, a 'Jonathan Pendleton' commented on the blog earlier this month, saying that he would arrest Cowen if police and the FBI did not.


While Cowen sustained only minor injuries, as WRC-TV reports, several students were affected by the pepper spray.

"Medics had to treat 15 people, including Cowen. No one was seriously hurt but students were sent home for the day."

Strangely enough, Cowen was, at the time of the attack, teaching a class about vigilantism. There is a stronger police presence campus post-attack.