Zachary Greenberg, 28, is now accused in the assault against a conservative activist at UC-Berkeley who was engaged in political expression about the Jussie Smollett case.
Before Greenberg’s arrest, the Berkeley chancellor released a statement condemning the incident. “According to the police, an unknown, unidentified assailant attacked a Berkeley student engaged in political advocacy. Let there be no mistake, we strongly condemn violence and harassment of any sort, for any reason,” it read, in part. Authorities now say that once unidentified assailant was Greenberg.
The February 2019 attack against conservative activist Hayden Williams was captured on video that went viral. Greenberg is now facing felony accusations.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. UC-Berkeley Released Greenberg’s Name & Said He was Booked Into the Jail
Zachary Greenberg’s name was released by the UC-Berkeley public affairs office, which announced his arrest on March 1, 2019.
“Today, an Alameda County Superior Court Judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the suspect in the matter involving a February 19 assault on Sproul Plaza,” a statement from the university reads.
“Zachary Greenberg was arrested by the University of California Police Department (UCPD) on the warrant and booked into jail at 1 p.m. UCPD will formally present the case to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of the filing of criminal charges. Once the matter is presented and reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office, additional information will be made available regarding a charging decision.”
He was being held on $30,000 bail in the Alameda County Jail, online records show. According to Fox News, Greenberg was “charged with assault with a deadly weapon and attempting to cause great bodily injury.”
2. Greenberg Once Worked for the University
Although Greenberg is not currently affiliated with UC-Berkeley, that wasn’t always the case.
The university confirmed to Campus Reform that Zachary Greenberg was once an employee of the university. Specifically, the university told the site, he “was employed by UC-Berkeley from May 21-July 9, 2010 as a lab assistant in the Department of Psychology.”
Furthermore, he was “briefly a non-degree seeking student at UC-Berkeley,” Campus Reform reported. It’s not clear why he was on campus when the attack occurred.
3. The University Previously Revealed a Potential Suspect was Identified & Said He Wasn’t a Student
On February 22, 2019, the university announced that a potential suspect had already been identified.
“Responding quickly to information provided by members of the UC Berkeley campus community, the University of California Police Department (UCPD) has identified a potential suspect in the violent crime that occurred on February 19th, 2019 on the Sproul Plaza (UCPD case #19-00455). Based on current information available to the department, the suspect is not a student at, or affiliate of, the University,” the university wrote.
At that time, wrote the university, “This is still an active investigation and to support its efforts to apprehend the suspect, UCPD is encouraging anyone with information regarding this case to contact the UCPD Criminal Investigations Unit at: (510) 642-0472 during business hours, except holidays; and (510) 642-6760 at all other times.”
The University also confirmed, the statement said, that “the victim is not a student at, or affiliate of, the University, and had joined members of a student group as a member of an advocacy training program.”
“The fact that the victim was not a campus affiliate has no bearing on this case. He had every right to be on campus, and every right to express his point of view,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.
The university stressed: “UC Berkeley’s commitment to freedom of expression and perspective is unwavering, as is its intolerance for violence and harassment. Yesterday, Chancellor Carol Christ, in a message to the entire campus community, clearly communicated the University’s values and commitments.”
“Let there be no mistake, we strongly condemn violence and harassment of any sort, for any reason. That sort of behavior is intolerable and has no place here. Our commitment to freedom of expression and belief is unwavering,” the chancellor said.
“UCPD and the campus administration wish to thank the many members of the campus community who came forward with useful information,” the statement concluded.
4. Greenberg Is Accused of Punching the Conservative Activist
According to CBS San Francisco, Greenberg was identified as “one of two men” caught on video confronting Hayden Williams, who had set up a table as part of Turning Point USA.
The group presented signs making commentary on the Jussie Smollett case, with one reading, “Hate Crimes Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims,” and another that read, “This is MAGA Country,” CBS San Francisco reported. Smollett is the actor now accused by Chicago P.D. of fabricating an attack against himself.
Greenberg landed “two punches on Williams,” the television station reported, including one “directly on his face.” According to Fox News, Williams is “a field representative for the conservative group The Leadership Institute.”
5. Conservative Activists & the President’s Son Raised Concerns About the Incident
Some conservative activists were unhappy with how long it took to make an arrest. On February 26, 2019, Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA, wrote on Twitter, “This attacker has not yet been arrested or charged with a crime. A hate crime was committed on campus at UC Berkeley and the attacker walks free. If the attacker was wearing a MAGA hat there would have been a nationwide manhunt for him. Outrage!”
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also weighed in, writing on February 21: “When a liberal like Jussie cries wolf and fakes an attack he receives unmatched coverage, sympathy & support creating a tsunami of attention. When a conservative student literally gets punched in the face and it’s caught on video it barely makes a ripple.”
Kirk released a statement to Fox News after Greenberg’s arrest was announced.
“Today, we have finally learned the identity of the attacker and that the violent man has been arrested,” he wrote. “While every America should be afforded their due process, we believe that the video evidence in this case is incontrovertible. We hope 28-year-old Zachary Greenberg is prosecuted to the full extent of the law for assault with a deadly weapon, which should be considered an act of hate.’
He concluded, “Hopefully, this dark chapter will act as a wake up call to those concerned about actual politically motivated hate crimes in America. Berkeley and all college campuses across American should be safe havens for free thought and opinions – especially for a targeted conservative minority.”