Eric Clanton, a former adjunct philosophy professor at Diablo Valley College-a Bay Area Community College- pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges on Friday at an Alameda County Court. Clanton is accused of assaulting Trump supporters with a bike U-lock at an April Free Speech rally at University of California-Berkeley. Clanton has been identified as an individual striking a pro-Trump demonstrator on the head with the bike lock, drawing blood (the assault can be seen at 0:16 in the linked video). In addition to the assault charges, Clanton faces the misdemeanor charge of wearing a mask during the commissioning of a crime. The college confirmed in a Facebook Statement that Clanton was in fact an employee of the institution.
The masked Clanton was identified publicly through the results of a ‘crowdfunded’ investigation into the incident; stemming from a viral and widely viewed clip of the brutal assault occurring at the April pro-Trump demonstration. It came as a ironic surprise to the internet sleuths responsible for identifying Clanton that the perp was in fact a “professor of ethics” at the California community college. The Berkeley Police Department acknowledged in a Thursday statement that the viral video of the heinous assault circulating throughout social media helped them determine the identity of the belligerent- evidently too cowardly to commit the violent crime without masking his face.
In an added twist, Clanton appeared in the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse represented pro bono by Dan Siegel, a well known figure in Berkeley’s radical communist and left-wing community. Evidently, Siegel himself was denied a law license in 1972 due to openly violent leftist agitation.
At this time Clanton remains jailed, with Alameda County Judge Thomas Nixon setting bail at $100,000.