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Judge Drops Bail, Allows Release of Deltopia Reveler

A Santa Barbara judge on Tuesday dropped bail and allowed the release of the 18-year-old man accused of hitting a UCSB Police officer in the face with a backpack during April’s Deltopia street party.

Despite objections from the prosecution, Judge Brian Hill granted a defense attorney’s request to release Los Angeles resident Desmond Edwards on his own recognizance, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron.

Bail had been set at $75,000.

Barron said Edwards wouldn’t be due back in court until a readiness and settlement hearing, which was continued to Aug. 12.

Edwards, who was 17 at the time of the alleged crime, faces felony charges of assault, resisting arrest and causing great bodily injury. He is being charged as an adult and has been in custody at Santa Maria Juvenile Hall.

Edwards was in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Tuesday morning, along with his parents.

Hill’s decision comes a week after Edwards was arraigned on new charges following a two-day preliminary hearing.

The judge held Edwards to all original charges except mayhem, and, for the second time, the teen pleaded not guilty.

Edwards is accused of leading law enforcement officers on a foot pursuit along the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive during the unsanctioned, alcohol-fueled event of Deltopia on April 5.

When members of the Sheriff’s Department's Isla Vista Foot Patrol and UCSB Police chased after suspects involved in a fight, Edwards allegedly ran down the street and threw his backpack, containing a large glass liquor bottle, into the face of UCSB Officer Tony Magaña.

Authorities allege the incident involving Edwards helped spur the violent rioting that followed.

Edwards’ bail was $100,000 after the initial arrest, but was subsequently reduced to $75,000.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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