BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A former Diablo Valley College philosophy professor has been arrested for his role in a violent melee that broke out during a Berkeley rally supporting President Donald Trump last month, authorities said Thursday.

Organizers dubbed the rally a “Patriot Day” for people who support the president, but it quickly degenerated into a brawl with counter demonstrators. Twenty people were arrested and 11 others were injured — seven of which needed hospitalization.

Eric Clanton

RAW VIDEO: Protesters Clash in Berkeley (Profanity)

In the weeks since the rally violence, Berkeley police have gone through videos and photos taken during the event to identify others who may be charged with crimes.

A man crouching for cover (C) gets hit with a bike lock as multiple fights break out between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters in Berkeley, California on April 15, 2017. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

SLIDESHOW: Images: Violent, Bloody Day In Berkeley

Authorities said Eric Clanton was arrested in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. There had been an outcry for his apprehension on alt-right websites after a video clip was posted on social media of the 28-year-old allegedly assaulting a pro-Trump demonstration with a bike lock.

A DVC spokesman said among the philosophy classes Clanton taught was “Introduction to Ethics.”

“We especially at Diablo Valley College received, in fact, hundreds of calls and emails concerning the hiring, that we have someone like this in front of our class, in front of our students, potentially dangerous,” said spokesman Tim Leong.

Clanton was a candidate to teach another philosophy class at the college this summer. But he was arrested by Berkeley Police Wednesday.

Investigators said cellphone videos show him swinging the U-lock at multiple Trump supporters in the head, injuring at least three people.

Police said finding the U-lock attacker was such a priority, homicide detectives were assigned to the case.

“You’re swinging a small metal object that can absolutely cause traumatic injuries,” said Berkeley Police Lt. Kevin Schofield.

Investigators credit cellphone videos for helping them identify the U-lock attacker. Some people even posted their own research online, identifying the masked man as Clanton.

He was being held Thursday in the Berkeley city jail on $200,000 bail for assault with a non-firearm deadly weapon with an enhancement clause charge.



Comments (13)
  1. What happened to free speech? Let everybody say what they want to.

  2. Mike Mahan says:

    I’d bet dollars to donuts that this guy will be a tenured professor at Berkeley itself one day. By the way, he is 28 year old? He could pass for 45.

  3. It’s very disturbing that the article only mentions ‘alt-right” websites as being interested in the solving of this crime. Wouldn’t the non-alt-right media, and local politicians also be interested in in keeping an attempted murderer off the street?

  4. Tom Canaday says:

    This article doesn’t mention that Eric Clanton was part of an organized mass of criminals who banded together and acted in concert with one another to attack a peaceful political rally and assault the attendees with whom Clanton happened to disagree. Clanton wore a mask and head covering and nondescript black clothing, as did his co-conspirators, in order to evade identification and capture. The article also doesn’t mention that Clanton is a radical leftist. Finally, the article doesn’t mention that the Berkeley police stood down and allowed Eric Clanton and his accomplices to attack innocent, unarmed rally attendees for hours resulting in many, many injuries.

  5. Steve Fay says:

    Clanton is a total POS…certainly not qualified to teach any sort of ethics given his own outlandish criminal conduct. Yet, in the toilet bowl of California, so called college administrators view him as fit to fill the semi empty minds of adolescents with his hatred for our flag and our country. Clanton needs to be locked up. The idiot administrators who hired him need to be fired ASAP. They have provided more than enough evidence as to their own incompetence.