News & Politics

College Professor Arrested as Suspect in Berkeley Assault

A former Diablo Valley College professor who was identified by online sleuths as the “anti-fascist” protester who assaulted a Trump supporter at the so-called “Battle of Berkeley” last month has been arrested and taken into custody.

Eric Clanton, who had reportedly been under investigation for weeks, is being held on $200,000 bail after being booked into Berkeley City Jail Wednesday evening.

Via the East Bay Times:

He was arrested on suspicion of use of a firearm during a felony with an enhancement clause and assault with a non-firearm deadly weapon.

No date was immediately listed for upcoming arraignment hearings.

A former Diablo Valley College staff directory Web page said Clanton, who earned a bachelor’s degree at California State University, Bakersfield, and a master’s degree at San Francisco State in philosophy, worked at the school since 2015, teaching an “introduction to philosophy with a background in teaching ethics, critical thinking, and comparative philosophy East/West” with “primary research interests” of ethics and politics.

Employee records for 2015 and 2016 listed Clanton as a lecturer with the California State University system and a philosophy instructor with the Contra Costa Community College District, according to Transparent California.

Berkeley police were not immediately available to confirm any connection between Clanton’s arrest and social-media-fueled accusations within the last month about attacks during at least one of a series of protests earlier this year.

The altercation in question took place when Antifa agitators crashed a pro-Trump, free-speech demonstration dubbed “the Patriots Rally” on April 15.  The assault, captured on video, shows a protester in a face mask bludgeoning a young man in the head with a U-shaped bike lock, leaving him bleeding profusely. The attacker quickly disappeared back into the crowd.

4chan users utilized the image-based bulletin board to investigate the assault and share their research on the attacker’s identity.

Via The College Fix:

They purported to identify a mask-free Clanton in photos from the protest that day, and compared those to the outfit, backpack, facial structure and shoes of U-lock attacker.

4chan users also found Clanton’s profile on the dating website OKCupid, where he wrote “I spend a lot of time thinking about REVOLUTION.”

It is highly unlikely that Clayton would ever have been held accountable for his actions had the online “autists” not jumped into the fray.