Former professor arrested in beatings at Berkeley rally

FILE - In this April 15, 2017 file photo, anti President Donald Trump protesters clash with Trump supporters during competing demonstrations at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, Calif. Authorities say a former San Francisco Bay Area junior college professor has been arrested for allegedly beating three people during violent clashes between supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump last month. (Anda Chu /San Jose Mercury News via AP, File)
FILE - In this April 15, 2017 file photo, anti President Donald Trump protesters clash with Trump supporters during competing demonstrations at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, Calif. Authorities say a former San Francisco Bay Area junior college professor has been arrested for allegedly beating three people during violent clashes between supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump last month. (Anda Chu /San Jose Mercury News via AP, File)

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former San Francisco Bay Area college professor has been arrested for allegedly beating at least three people during violent clashes between supporters and detractors of President Donald Trump last month, police said Friday.

Eric Clanton, 28, was arrested Wednesday in Oakland for assault with a deadly weapon in connection with using a U-shaped bike lock in the beatings, Berkeley Police Lt. Dan Montgomery said. He surrendered without incident, police said.

Clanton remained in custody Friday in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to Alameda County online jail records.

It was unclear Friday if Clanton has an attorney, and Alameda County Deputy Public Defender Jeff Chorney said his office is not representing Clanton.

Videos posted on social media helped police identify Clanton as a suspect in the violent assaults on April 15 at a downtown Berkeley park, said Montgomery.

“People in the community were upset by what they saw, and we received tips about the incident,” Montgomery said.

Three people who have come forward were severely injured, including one with a head injury, he said. But Clanton is suspected of beating multiple people that day and police hope additional victims will come forward.

Montgomery said Friday that he did not know the conditions of those injured.

The violent clashes came after Trump supporters announced a “Patriot Day” rally at the park featuring speeches by members of the alt-right, an amorphous fringe movement that promotes racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and xenophobia.

Counter-demonstrators then announced a rally at the same place.

Nineteen adults and a 17-year girl were arrested that day, Montgomery said. The charges they face include battery, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and inciting a riot.

Clanton taught philosophy part-time at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill for three semesters, his last in the fall of 2016. He was not employed at the college during the time of the rally, college spokeswoman Chrisanne Knox said.

Employee records for 2015 and 2016 show Clanton was a lecturer with the California State University system and taught philosophy with the Contra Costa Community College District, according to Transparent California, a database of public employees.

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