Police are looking for a suspect accused of assaulting a man expressing his conservative views
The altercation took place on campus at the University of California in Berkeley Tuesday.
According to campus police, it started with a verbal altercation between the assailant and the alleged victim, who is not a student at the school.
The confrontation became physical after he pulled out his phone and the assailant knocked it from his hand, then punched him.
Two other witnesses also saw the incident.
This was the scene on upper Sproul Plaza.
A shoving match and then a sucker punch.
The man in black is the suspect UC Berkeley officers are looking for.
The man in the white cap on the receiving end of that punch is Hayden Williams, a volunteer from conservative group Turning Points USA.
On his table was a sign that allegedly read “beware of fake hate crimes” on it – a reference to the Jussie Smollett case.
Arda Erbil and friend Alexander Szarka were leaving class when they saw the commotion.
Arda Erbil says, “It started off as verbal and it kinda heightened up where he was breaking down posters and taking down the table.”
Alexander Szarka says, “I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to get intense’ and that’s why I got out my phone and I wanted to film it. Um, and … it was … it was just, um … I didn’t think that it was going to escalate to the extent that it did.”
That’s when the pair pulled out their cell phones and began recording.
Arda Erbil says, “This is something I’ve never really seen at Sproul, I know there’s a lot of political tension going on, but I’ve never been around for those events.”
Tables promoting different clubs on campus are a daily occurrence at Sproul Plaza.
Political combat, however, hasn’t been seen at the plaza since the Milo Yiannopolous protests.
UC Berkeley Public Affairs Asst. Vice Chancellor Dan Mogulof says, “The University condemns in the strongest possible terms, violence, and harassment of any sort, no matter who the perpetrators are, no matter who the targets are.”
The Berkeley College Republicans tweeted out the video this morning, calling it a “leftist attack.”
Berkeley College Republicans Rudra Reedy says, “One of the few things that holds America together is this idea that we can debate our differences and still remain one country committed to some ideals of free expression and debate and when we see incidences like this that ideal is undermined.”
Williams was invited to the school by a conservative group on campus.
He says he is fine.
UC Berkeley police are asking for the public’s help identifying the suspect.