OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Right-wing activist Kyle Chapman, who also goes by the name “Based Stickman,” pleaded not guilty Tuesday on a felony charge of possession of a leaded cane for allegedly brandishing a leaded stick at a rally in Berkeley in March.
Chapman, a 41-year-old Daly City man who’s free on $135,000 bail, was scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court on Oct. 12 for a hearing at which prosecutors are to turn over evidence in the case to his defense attorney, John Noonan.
Chapman, who was dressed in a dark suit and wore a tie, and Noonan declined to comment to reporters after his brief hearing.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed the felony charge against Chapman last month for his actions at the “March 4 Trump” rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley on March 4 in which Trump supporters clashed with counter-protesters.
There were multiple instances of violence between the two groups and Chapman was identified as one of the people causing violence, Berkeley police Officer Darrin Rafferty wrote in a probable cause statement.
At about 3:05 p.m. on March 4, a man later identified as Chapman who was wearing a black baseball helmet, goggles and a backpack with metal buckles sprayed what appeared to be pepper spray into a crowd of protesters that Chapman’s group had been arguing with, according to Rafferty.
A short time later “Chapman was involved in multiple altercations with many people” and “was swinging what appeared to be a wooden stick at many people,” Rafferty wrote.
However, Rafferty wrote that it was unclear if Chapman hit anyone because the camera didn’t stay focused on him during the altercation.
Rafferty wrote that after he reviewed videos of the clash at the rally, “it is clear that Chapman was in possession of a piece of wood that had been fashioned and carried as a weapon.”
He wrote, “Specifically he had a large stick with two small American flags attached to it.”
When Chapman was arraigned on Aug. 25, a judge ordered him not to possess any weapons such as wooden sticks, brass knuckles and pepper spray and to stay at least 300 yards away from Civic Center Park in Berkeley.
Prosecutors say that Chapman has two prior convictions, one for grand theft in San Diego County in 2001 and one for robbery in Texas in 1993.