Berkeley: Police Are Conducting ‘Additional Investigative Work’ on Assault of Conservative Activist

Hayden Williams / YouTube

The University of California, Berkeley Police Department is conducting "additional investigative work" on the assault of a conservative activist on campus last week, a university official said Wednesday, after previously saying the department's probe had concluded.

Hayden Williams, a 26-year-old field organizer for the conservative Leadership Institute, was punched in the face on Feb. 19 by a man who appeared upset over a sign on his table about the harm of hate crime hoaxes, a reference to the Jussie Smollett case.

Dan Mogulof, the assistant vice chancellor in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, said Tuesday the police department had concluded its investigation and was "seeking a felony warrant from the Alameda County District Attorney for the identified suspect."

However, the Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday: "The matter has not yet been formally submitted for consideration of charging and the investigation is ongoing."

Asked for an update, Mogulof said, "We have been in touch with the DA, and our police force is now doing some additional investigative work necessary for a determination of charges and/or the issuance of a warrant for the suspect's arrest."

As Williams recruited for the right-wing group Turning Point on the campus's main plaza last week, two men approached his table and accused him of promoting racism and violence. As Williams and an onlooker both filmed, one man flipped over his table, began pushing him and swearing at him, and finally sucker-punched him in the face.

Williams, still sporting a black left eye from where he was punched, appeared on Fox News on Wednesday morning and could not comment on the details of the investigation. He noted there were people on campus who were hailing the man who punched him, and he criticized the school's administration for "allowing it to get to this point" where violence is accepted and even encouraged.

Berkeley stressed last week it in no way condones violence and condemned the assault. The identity of the suspect has not been released; as of last week, police did not think the suspect was a student.

Berkeley College Republicans President Matt Ronnau told the Free Beacon last week he was not surprised by the attack.

"I was pretty shocked that it had happened, but I wasn't, honestly, surprised, which is kind of disappointing, just given how Berkeley is and incidents that we've experienced in the past," he said. "People here just don't get it. They just don't know how to act when someone expresses a viewpoint that they disagree with."