One Person Injured During Incident at EOU, Suspect Detained by Students

LA GRANDE – (Release from the La Grande Police Department) On Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 12:29pm, La Grande Police officers responded to a report of an assault that had just occurred at Hoke Hall on the campus of Eastern Oregon University. Initial reporters stated a group of males had detained the suspect and was holding him down until police arrived. 

Deputies from the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Officers from La Grande Police Department arrived shortly after receiving the call and detained the suspect, Philip Thompson (45) of Boise, Idaho.  Officers learned Thompson was in the cafeteria and was acting strange, yelling and cussing out loud and then spontaneously punched a student in the face who was pouring a cup of coffee.   When the student got punched, several other male students tackled Thompson and held him on the ground until law enforcement arrived.  

The investigation revealed Thompson is not a student of EOU.  The student who was punched was transported to Grande Ronde Hospital and treated for facial injuries. 

Thompson was arrested for Assault II and lodged in the Union County Jail.  During the arrest, the investigators suspected Thompson was suffering from a mental health disorder and CHD Mental Health Crisis workers were contacted. This investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed. If you have information pertinent to this case, please contact the La Grande Police Department at 541-963-1017.