By Andria Borba

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — Police are looking for a suspect who assaulted a man publicizing his conservative viewpoints on the campus of University of California, Berkeley in an attack captured on video.

UC Berkeley police said the assault happened on Upper Sproul Plaza Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 pm. The incident was recorded by two Cal students with their cellphones and video of the encounter has since gone viral.

In the video, a man in black is seen shoving Hayden Williams, a volunteer with conservative group Talking Points USA. On his table in Upper Sproul was a sign that read, “Hate Crimes Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims” – a reference to the Jussie Smollett case – and another saying “This is MAGA Country.” After the shoving, two punches were landed by the suspect onto Williams – one soft and one much harder, directly in his face.

Arda Erbil and friend Alexander Szarka were leaving a Portuguese history class when they saw the commotion, “It started off as verbal and it kinda heightened up where he was breaking down posters and taking down a table,” said Erbil. “This is something I’ve never really seen at Sproul. I know there’s a lot of political tension going on, but I’ve never been around for those events.”

Tables promoting different clubs on campus are a daily occurrence at Sproul Plaza. Political combat, however, hasn’t been seen at the Plaza since the Milo Yiannopolous protests and subsequent series of clashes between far right and far left groups over a period of months in 2017.

“The university condemns in the strongest possible terms, violence and harassment of any sort, no matter who the perpetrators are, no matter who the targets are,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor of UC Berkeley Public Affairs Dan Mogulof.

The Berkeley College Republicans tweeted a copy of the video Thursday morning, calling it a “leftist” attack.

“One of the few things that holds America together is this idea that we can debate our differences and still remain one country committed to some ideals of free expression and debate and when we see incidences like this that ideal is undermined,” said Rudra Reedy of the Berkeley College Republicans.



Comments (21)
  1. Chuck Lantz says:

    This story is in serious need of some fact-checking. It smells like a set-up.

    1. Chuck Lantz says:

      “Every time?” … Seriously? … Think about what you’re saying before you say it. The similarity to the Smallet case is exactly why this case should be suspect.

    2. Chuck Lantz says:

      I used very plain English: “This story is in serious need of some fact-checking. It smells like a set-up.” … Did I say it was a lie? No, I just said it was suspicious and some fact-checking was in order. Jump to conclusions much?

  2. I would be surprised if the Toodys and Muldoons of the SF Police Department ever find the guy.

    1. Chuck Lantz says:

      What does the San Francisco police department have to do with a crime committed on the University of California campus, which is in Berkeley and which also has its own police department?

  3. Steve Case says:

    It says “Comments (4)” but only two are visible. What don’t “They” want me to see?

  4. John Clark says:

    Police are searching? It’s been 3 days. He’s on campus when he assaults a student. That leads me to believe he might be a student himself. He’s wearing a backpack while assaulting a student. That leads me to believe he might be a student himself. He’s on video assaulting a student. Meaning he is visible and identifiable. Where exactly are these “police” searching?

    1. Emilio Aymat says:


  5. Emilio Aymat says:

    I’m not a leftist but as someone that lived through Spanish fascism, I say RIGHT ON!👌👍👊All people that perpetuate oppression be they cons, libs or religious SHOULD be stomped.

    1. Chuck Lantz says:

      Thanks, Emilio. One comment like yours, from someone who has actually lived through fascism, is worth a thousand comments from those who have only heard of it, and deny that it is a real problem.

      1. Emilio Aymat says:

        I also don’t view fascism as a social plague as many lefties might, but I view it as inherent part of the authoritarian personality and one need NOT be rightwing in order to BE fascistic. Minus the typical rightwing agendas of nation, being fascistic only implies having the power to implement political authority with force and brutality, and throughout history there r many examples of both extremes converging. For example, the guy(Manuel Fraga) who used to be Franco’s PM, later managed to keep power as a governor in Galicia thanks to the socialist party that put him there and b4 dying befriended F. Castro cuz he admired how Castro managed to put down all the independent sugar cane unions and his m.o. of state control.