By Christin Ayers

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — An Oakland man said he was brutally assaulted by a uniformed public works employee in Frank Ogawa Plaza near City Hall over the weekend.

Joshua Daniels told KPIX 5 he was on his way home after going to a nearby drugstore early Sunday morning, when he spit a piece of gum into a trash bin that two city workers were using to clean up leaves on the plaza. Daniels said the men became angry and started threatening him.

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“They started saying, ‘You don’t belong here. We’re gonna get you. We’re gonna kick your ass,'” said Daniels. “At that point, I reached for my phone and started filming the incident.”

Daniels said that appeared to enrage the two men.

“One of the men comes over and just smacks the phone out of my hand really hard and grabs my shirt collar with his left hand and just starts pounding me with his right hand.”

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Daniels blacked out, and awakened a short time later covered in blood and with a black eye in his apartment. His cell phone had disappeared. A neighbor helped him call police. Daniels was treated for an orbital fracture below his eye and received ten stitches.

The city has not commented on the beating and it is unclear what will become of the two employees. A spokesperson for the Oakland Police Department would only confirm that the incident is being investigated.

Daniels, an activist who is known at City Hall for his love of local politics, said the assault has made him rethink his decision to live in Oakland.

“It’s hard not to get cynical here,” he said.

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