Police at the University of California Berkeley were called to a student plaza on Tuesday after reports that a representative of the conservative Leadership Institute was physically assaulted by a man on the campus. Part of the assault was captured on cellphone video that has since been shared online by Turning Point USA, the conservative group the representative was reportedly helping train.
The Daily Californian was the first outlet to report the incident, which the student-run paper says took place on the Upper Sproul Plaza.
Citing a campus police alert that went out Wednesday, the paper reports that the alleged victim, a male Leadership Institute representative, "had been tabling for the conservative group Turning Point USA on Tuesday afternoon about 3:29 p.m. when two males approached the table."
The victim told police that he and the two men became embroiled in a verbal altercation, at which point he began filming the escalating exchange with his phone. One of the two alleged attackers reportedly slapped the phone out of the activist's hand and then overturned the table the group was using to recruit.
"While he and the suspect struggled for the phone, the suspect punched the victim several times, causing injury to the victim’s eye and nose," the Daily Californian reports. By the time police arrived, the suspect had already left the scene.
A student who witnessed the attack filmed the second part of the altercation on his phone, and TPUSA's Charlie Kirk has tweeted out the footage, writing, "Imagine if the attacker was wearing MAGA hat, would be national news!"
On Thursday, The College Fix published additional footage filmed by the conservative activist that includes the assaulter threatening, "I'll shoot your a**!"
Video below (h/t Hot Air):
The student paper reports in an update that UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said in a statement that the campus condemns all forms of harassment and violence and that the university does not, at this point, have any information about whether the suspect is a student at the university — though, as College Fix notes, he is wearing a backpack and appears college age.
The student who reportedly filmed the initial video tweeted out by Kirk told Breitbart News that the altercation appears to have begun over an argument about a TPUSA sign that warning that "Hate crime hoaxes hurt real victims," an apparent reference to the Jussie Smollett case. He told the outlet that he began filming after the suspect flipped over the table.
Kirk has since issued a statement about the incident. "This assault reveals the hate and anger so many on the left harbor and that our student activists encounter on a daily basis," he said in a press statement Thursday. "Our amazing grassroots organizers courageously face threats of violence and discrimination as they fight for the right for conservative voices to be heard on college campuses. I am proud of how our student activists at UC Berkeley comported themselves in what was a very scary and difficult situation. Sadly, if the roles were reversed and a conservative student wearing a MAGA hat had attacked a member of a leftist organization, the story would be a leading headline on the nightly news across all major networks. This is a hate crime pure and simple and the suspect should be held accountable."
The video has since been shared by Donald Trump Jr. and other conservative personalities, including his significant other, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.
"When a liberal like Jussie cries wolf and fakes an attack he receives unmatched coverage, sympathy & support creating a tsunami of attention," wrote Trump. "When a conservative student literally gets punched in the face and it’s caught on video it barely makes a ripple."
This article has been updated to include the video provided by The College Fix and more details about the incident.