E’town High grad attacked at UC Berkeley


An Elizabethtown High School graduate has received significant national media attention after he was attacked at University of California, Berkeley.

Hayden Williams, who works for the Leadership Institute, which trains conservative activists, said he was on campus Tuesday assisting UC Berkeley’s chapter of the right-wing group Turning Point USA when a man punched him in the face, he said Thursday on Fox News’ Sean Hannity show.

“And while I was there some students took offense to our sign that we had that said, ‘Hate crime hoaxes hurt real victims’. And this person who claimed we were promoting violence on campus and proceeded to take his aggression out on us,” Williams told Hannity.

A video of the altercation can be seen. In the end, a man can be seen punching Williams in the face along with yelling obscenities toward him.

“As soon as the gentleman, and I use that term lightly, approached our table and began acting very erratic, I feared for my own safety, so I started to record at that moment,” Williams said.

University of California, Berkeley issued a statement following the attack.

“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. At this point we have no information indicating that the perpetrators are affiliated with the university and I join our police department in urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward so we can apprehend and bring the perpetrator to justice.”

The attack drew condemnation from various conservative figures, especially in the wake of Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s reported false accusation that he was attacked by two supporters of Donald Trump.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wrote on Twitter, “This is abhorrent behavior against free speech on campus. No form of violence is acceptable!”

The News-Enterprise attempted to contact Williams independently through a call and text message to his cellphone, but was unsuccessful as Sunday night. Jane Williams, Williams’ mother, said her son has been overwhelmed with media requests lately, including inquiries from Fox and Friends and Dr. Phil.

Williams’ appearance on Hannity along with the video of the assault can be seen at https://fxn.ws/2GHvKrt.

Trey Crumbie can be reached at 270-505-1747 or tcrumbie@thenewsenterprise.com.

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