A preliminary hearing of the case against Eric Clanton is set for December 14 in Berkeley, California. Attorneys in the case are believed to be trying to resolve the case before it goes to trial. Clanton is facing charges of attacking four people with a heavy bicycle lock at a rally in Berkeley in April, when masked Antifa (antifascist) radicals, including Clanton, sought to “shut down” a rally of another group at the city’s Civic Center Park. Violent clashes resulted between antifa radicals, white supremacists, and others.

Clanton was seen in videos broadcast on YouTube and eventually identified in videos where he is seen attacking protesters with the metal bike lock. A similar bike lock sold under the name “Kryptonite” weighs approximately 2.5 pounds. 

On May 26, Clanton was charged with four counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon. He is alleged to have caused great bodily injury to one of the alleged victims. He pled not guilty and was released from jail on a $100,000 bail. His preliminary hearing, originally set for Aug. 10, was rescheduled for Sept. 28, and then postponed.

Clanton is a former professor at Diablo Valley College in California. Once he was identified online, Clanton’s employer was deluged with demands for his ouster. He later released a statement, saying: “Dealing with an unintelligible internet force smearing and threatening me online was not easy, and created stress to say the least, but I had every expectation that very few people would take them seriously, especially considering the character and credibility of their sources.”

Many people online questioned then why he had not been arrested.

Finally, in late May, Berkeley first searched his home in San Leandro and later tracked him down in Oakland, where he was arrested and taken into custody.

Berkeley Police Department spokeswoman Officer Jenn Coats said the department would not comment on Clanton’s statement, while noting that BPD had done a thorough investigation which was presented to the District Attorney’s Office. Capt. Ed Spiller was quoted as saying that the videos of the assault were “shocking.”

Video and photos taken at the April 15 rally in which Clanton was involved showed a young man bleeding severely from apparent wounds to the head. Bystanders assisted him. A video laced with profanity and violence showed a protester swinging a bike lock that connects with a man’s head and trunk. Someone is heard to say in the video, “Oh s—, he’s bleeding,” while another calls for medical assistance. Someone shouts: “He’s bleeding! Hard!”



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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