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Area Resident Charged In Connection To Incident At Protest On College Campus

35-year-old Derek Zika of Statesville was arrested by Emory University Police Officers in Atlanta, Georgia. According to multiple published reports, he’s charged with criminal trespass, obstructing a law enforcement officer, possession of a weapon in a school safety zone, and crossing state lines with weapons, intoxicants or drugs.

Zika was detained on the campus of Emory University on Sunday, April 28, during a protest over the Israel-Hamas war. The published reports say six other people were arrested Sunday and charged with vandalism for their actions during the ongoing protests.

Zika, who pleaded guilty to felony burning personal property and received a suspended sentence in Iredell County in December of 2023, was arrested on the Emory Quad. A news release from the Emory Police Department says Zika was carrying knives and a pepper spray canister at the time of his arrest.

After obtaining a search warrant, officers searched Zika’s vehicle on Monday, April 29, and found an axe, a hatchet and two knives in a bag with survival gear. Reports say community members alerted police regarding Zika’s presence on campus.

The suspect was transported to the Dekalb County Jail following his arrest. He was released on bond Tuesday (April 30).

[Information for story and photos courtesy of and Emory University Police Department]