Oakland man charged with 3 felonies in UC Berkeley assault case

Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley (file photo). Photo: LAgirl5252

The Alameda County district attorney’s office has charged an Oakland man with three felonies in connection with an assault on the UC Berkeley campus in February that was caught on video.

Zachary Greenberg, 28, was charged Tuesday morning with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury and criminal threats. All three are felonies. He also was charged with misdemeanor vandalism causing less than $400 in damage.

The charges stem from a Feb. 19 assault on Hayden Williams, an organizer with conservative group Turning Point USA. According to the University of California Police Department, Williams was “tabling” for Turning Point when two men approached him: “When a verbal altercation started, the victim began filming the interaction with his phone. A physical confrontation ensued when one of the two men slapped the phone out of the victim’s hand. The suspect then knocked over the table the victim was at and the two men struggled over the phone. During the incident, the suspect punched the victim several times causing injury to the victim’s eye and nose.”

Videos of the incident went viral after they were shared by conservative groups and figures calling the assault a leftist attack on students’ free speech. UC Berkeley has said neither man is a Cal student.


Greenberg was arrested Friday afternoon. UCPD said Tuesday afternoon, in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry, that Greenberg turned himself in at the University of California Police Department.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump urged Williams to sue UC Berkeley and the state of California for the assault. He then said he would issue an executive order that would withhold funds from universities unless they agreed “to support free speech.”

Greenberg is set to appear in court Wednesday morning at the Wiley Manuel Court House in Oakland for arraignment, said Teresa Drenick, spokeswoman for the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

Greenberg has no prior convictions, according to court papers. He is no longer in custody.

(Berkeleyside updated this story after publication to include more detail about the circumstances of Greenberg’s arrest.)