UCPD concludes investigation of Sproul Plaza assault, seeks felony warrant

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Update 3/1/19: This article has been updated to reflect additional information from campus spokesperson Diana Harvey

A man tabling for the conservative organization Turning Point USA was assaulted on the UC Berkeley campus Feb. 19, causing people nationwide to call for the suspect’s arrest.

One week after the incident that received national backlash, the campus has concluded its investigation of the incident, said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

“Based on the results of that investigation, the department is seeking a felony warrant from the Alameda County district attorney for the identified suspect,” Mogulof said.

Mogulof added that if a warrant is issued after the district attorney evaluates the case, UCPD will “immediately” pursue the suspect’s arrest.

Hayden Williams, who is not affiliated with the campus, said he had been tabling on Upper Sproul Plaza about 3:29 p.m. when two males approached the table. A verbal altercation ensued, and Williams began filming the interaction with his phone. The video was posted to Twitter on Thursday morning by campus junior Bradley Devlin, former president of Berkeley College Republicans.

The suspect, who has been identified as Zachary Greenberg, proceeded to slap the phone out of Williams’ hand and knock over the table, according to Williams. While he and the Greenberg struggled for the phone, the suspect punched Williams several times, causing injury to the victim’s eye and nose. Greenberg left the scene before authorities arrived.

Devlin took to Twitter on Thursday morning to demand a statement from the campus, which, at that point, had yet to speak publicly about the incident. UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ released a campuswide statement later that day reaffirming the campus’s commitment to freedom of expression and belief.

“Let there be no mistake, we strongly condemn violence and harassment of any sort, for any reason,” Christ said in the statement. “That sort of behavior is intolerable and has no place here.”

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Mogulof said UCPD had identified a potential suspect, adding that Greenberg is not a student or affiliate of the campus.

This incident has generated backlash from the right-wing community nationwide, including Turning Point USA Founder and Executive Director Charlie Kirk, who expressed his disappointment in the lack of arrests or charges related to the incident as of Monday.

“If the attacker was wearing a MAGA hat there would have been a nationwide manhunt for him,” Kirk said in a tweet.

Other high-profile figures have also expressed their disapproval in the events that occurred on Sproul Plaza, including Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who tweeted that the incident was an instance of “abhorrent” behavior against free speech.

Greenberg was arrested by UCPD on Friday about 1 p.m. and booked him into jail. Earlier in the day, an Alameda County Superior Court judge issued a warrant for Greenberg’s arrest.

“UCPD will formally present the case to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of the filing of criminal charges,” said campus spokesperson Diana Harvey in a statement. “Once the matter is presented and reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office, additional information will be made available regarding a charging decision.”

Amber Tang is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ambertang_dc.