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Suspect Arrested in Assault of Conservative Activist on Berkeley Campus

(Updated)

Zachary Greenberg / Mugshot
• March 1, 2019 4:43 pm

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A suspect has been arrested by the University of California Police Department in the assault last week on a conservative activist on Berkeley's Sproul Plaza.

Zachary Greenberg, 28, was arrested and booked into jail Friday afternoon for the Feb. 19 assault of Hayden Williams, a Leadership Institute field representative who was recruiting students for the right-wing student group Turning Point. The attack was caught on camera.

In a statement, Berkeley said it would formally present the case to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for consideration of the filing of criminal charges:

Today, an Alameda County Superior Court Judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the suspect in the matter involving a February 19 assault on Sproul Plaza. Zachary Greenberg was arrested by the University of California Police Department (UCPD) on the warrant and booked into jail at 1 p.m.

UCPD will formally present the case to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of the filing of criminal charges. Once the matter is presented and reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office, additional information will be made available regarding a charging decision. 

The university had initially said Tuesday the investigation had been completed and the department was "seeking a felony warrant from the Alameda County District Attorney for the identified suspect." However, the Alameda County District Attorney's office told the Free Beacon that day "the matter has not yet been formally submitted for consideration of charging and the investigation is ongoing."

Dan Mogulof, the assistant vice chancellor in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, then 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."

Williams was attacked on Feb. 19 while tabling on the campus's main plaza on behalf of the right-wing student group Turning Point. According to him and other witnesses, two men walking by were infuriated by a sign on his table reading "Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims," a reference to the Jussie Smollett case. He took his phone out and started filming as the men accused him of promoting violence and racism.

A bystander took video from the side as one man in a black shirt, after flipping over Williams's table, began pushing and swearing loudly at Williams, threatening to "shoot his ass" and finally punching him in the face, leaving him with a black left eye. Among other vulgarities, the assailant called him a "f—ing c—t."

In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Williams praised the police and said he wanted due process for the suspect, but he criticized the university administration for enabling an intolerant culture.

"Well, I respect due process and, you know, I’m confident that he will be found. The police are doing good work on this case. And my main critique is with the administration for allowing it to get to this point where this sort of violence is accepted and even encouraged by some," Williams said.

The university condemned the assault and said there was no excuse for violence or harassment. It's another incident of far-left violence in a town that's been criticized for being intolerant to conservative views.

Left-wing "antifa" members attacked a peaceful, right-wing demonstration in Berkeley in August 2017. Far-left protesters also caused $100,000 in damage in February of that year when they set fires and rioted over the invitation to campus of far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

Berkeley College Republicans President Matt Ronnau told the Free Beacon last week he has not always felt safe while engaging in activism on the campus.

"When we're tabling sometimes, yeah, it's definitely kind of threatening. People have come up and I've been spit at, and other people have been assaulted like Hayden, so it all depends on what you're doing," he said.

UPDATE: Saturday, 8:05 A.M.: This article was updated with the news of Greenberg's arrest.

Published under: California, College Campuses