UC Berkeley student, community member press charges against each other for alleged assault

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On Monday, UC Berkeley sophomore Luke Park and Berkeley community member Nicholas Frabasilio were involved in an alleged altercation that began when Park tried to wash off comments that Frabasilio allegedly made in chalk on the intersection of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way.

Frabasilio allegedly knocked a cup of water out of Park’s hand,and Park consequently pressed charges for assault. Frabasilio has also pressed charges for assault against Park for allegedly spilling water on his shoe as a result of their altercation, according to Park.

Park alleged that Frabasilio has been writing “SSU,” or “straight student union,” and “SLM,” or “straight liberation movement,” in chalk near Sproul Plaza since the beginning of the school year. Park further alleged that he decided to grab a cup of water to wash the images away and that Frabasilio retaliated.

“He stepped into my space and said slurs at me,” Park alleged.

Frabasilio allegedly swung at Park, knocking the cup of water out of his hand which led Park to call Berkeley Police Department.

Chalk images supporting the “straight liberation movement” first appeared on sections of Telegraph Avenue and Sproul Plaza in August 2016.

“It’s the ideology that there are too many queer people in society and straight people need to liberate themselves from the homosexual influence,” Park said, describing the “straight liberation movement,” which he opposes.

BPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel said the officer on the scene documented the battery but did not believe the chalked remarks rose to a level of a hate crime. Parked alleged that police discouraged him from pressing charges by being unhelpful and having a “sarcastic tone of voice.”

“Pretty obvious intimidation, he didn’t want to do it,” Park alleged about an officer on the scene.

Park alleged he knew of numerous instances where the police had been contacted due to episodes involving Frabasilio. He added, however, that police maintained that they had never heard of Frabasilio before yesterday’s alleged assault.  

Park said he thought campus administration should take a stronger stance on the matter if students are being harassed.

Frabasilio was unable to be reached for comment.

Topher Steiner, an independent contractor who occupies a booth daily between Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue, said he sees Frabasilio in the area every day.

“(Frabisilio) passes by my booth usually once every hour or two any day of the week, he writes the name of a club — SSU, SLM, Unabolish Heternormality,” Steiner alleged. “He has negative interactions with everybody I’ve seen him interact with.”

Contact Ahna Straube at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @akstraube.