Former professor charged in Trump event attack
A former professor at Diablo Valley College was charged Friday with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly attacking people with a U-lock bike lock during a clash between President Trump supporters and anti-fascist activists in Berkeley last month.
Eric Clanton, 28, who was arrested on Wednesday, was arraigned on the four felony assault charges in Alameda County Superior Court this afternoon along with a misdemeanor charge of wearing a mask to evade identification in the commission of a crime.
Berkeley police Officer Andres Bejarano wrote in a probable cause statement that at an event at the Civic Center Park in Berkeley on April 15 that attracted vocal Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators, Clanton:
“… was armed with a U-shaped metal bicycle lock and struck at least seven different victims in the head.”
Bejarano said one of the victims suffered a head laceration that required that five staples be placed in the victim’s head.
Clanton disappeared into a large crowd after that attack, according to Bejarano.
A search of Clanton’s phone records after a warrant was obtained disclosed that he had been in the Civic Center Park area at the time of the assaults, Bejarano wrote.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Clanton on Monday but when they tried to execute it at his San Leandro residence on Wednesday he wasn’t there, according to Bejarano.
However, detectives recovered evidence at the home that associated Clanton with anti-fascists and anarchist political groups, Bejarano wrote.
Detectives later located Clanton at his new address in West Oakland and aresteed him there at about 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Bejarano.
Detectives recovered evidence at that home, such as flags, patches, pamphlets and indicia, associating Clanton with anti-fascists and anarchist groups, Bejarano said.
Detectives also found U-locks, sunglasses, a glove, jeans and facial coverings consistent with those allegedly worn or possessed by Clanton during the April 15 event, according to Bejarano.
Detectives tried to interview Clanton to get his side of the story but he immediately invoked his right to an attorney, Bejarano said.
Clanton was an adjunct professor at Diablo Valley in Pleasant Hill in 2016, teaching philosophy, but he’s no longer employed there.
Alameda County District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said she believes that Clanton is the only person who has been charged so far in connection with the April 15 clash or a similar clash between pro- and anti-Trump activists in Civic Center Park on March 4.