On Wednesday, a former East Bay college philosophy professor who reportedly used a bike lock to strike a Trump supporter in the head at a “free speech” rally in Berkeley on April 15, 2017, took a deal wherein he only got three years probation.
Some activists claimed the professor, Eric Clanton, who had been charged with four counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, was videotaped as he committed the assault on 20-year-old college student, Sean Stiles, who had made the trip to Berkeley from his home in Santa Cruz.
Alameda County Superior Court records showed Clanton entered a “no contest” plea Wednesday to one misdemeanor battery charge, while the felony charges against him were dismissed. The allegation that he had caused serious bodily injury was stricken, as Berkeleyside.com reported.
Police had claimed Clanton attacked at least three people with a metal U-lock; court papers attested he hit at least seven people in the head. One of Clanton’s reported victims needed five staples to fix the wound on his head.
During their investigation in 2017, police found evidence in Clanton’s home in San Leandro connecting him to “Anti-Fascists and Anarchy political groups,” as Berkeleyside.com noted, adding a search at a second address discovered flags, patches and pamphlets “associating Clanton” with antifa and anarchist groups. Clanton was arrested at the second address.
U-locks, sunglasses, a glove, jeans, and facial coverings that would have fit with being an antifa member were found; a camera was found with “selfies” of Clanton “wearing black clothing and facial coverings” that would have fit with the April 15 event. Additionally, Clanton’s phone records showed he was near the event on the day in question.