Berkeley Police Identify Potential Suspect In Attack On Conservative Activist

UC Berkeley student Hayden Williams was attacked while promoting a conservative student group Turning Point USA.
Photo credit Twitter

BERKELEY — UC Berkeley police on Friday said that they have identified a "potential suspect" who punched a volunteer who was distributing information about a conservative students group on campus.

Police said, "the suspect is not a student at, or affiliate of the University."

A widely circulated video shows an altercation on the campus' famed Sproul Plaza where student groups set up tables and solicit new members. The video shows one man punch another in the face after arguing in the plaza. 

Another conservative student was assaulted on @UCBerkeley's campus. I just spoke to the survivor of the attack who is a dear friend of mine. He is in good spirits and plans on continuing to fight for conservative values on campus once his black eye is gone! What a bad a**!

— Brad Devlin (@bradleydevlin) February 21, 2019

The victim has been identified as Hayden Williams who is a volunteer for Turning Point USA, a conservative student group. 

"I was absolutely horrified. I feel like this is something that I've never really seen at Sproul," said Arda Erbil, the student who recorded part of the encounter on Tuesday. "I know there's a lot of political tension going on, but I've never been around for those events."

Williams told police that he had been "tabling" for Turning Point USA when two men approached him and an argument ensued. At that point, Williams started filming the altercation on his phone. One of the men flipped over the group's table, knocked the cellphone from Williams hand and punched him several times, according to the police

The table had a sign that said "Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims," according to TV station KPIX. It was an apparent reference to the Jussie Smollett case in which the actor has been charged for allegedly fabricating that he was attacked by assailants hurling racial and homophobic slurs.