Professor Eric Clanton, who is said to teach at Diablo Valley College near San Francisco, California, was allegedly caught on video slugging a Trump supporter over the head with a hefty bike lock, also known as a “U lock,” during the Berkeley riots that took place this past Saturday. The attack resulted in significant injury to the head of the victim, who is said to be a young man named Sean Stiles. Pro-Trump Twitter has been busy trying to get the word out about the still unpunished assault, and it was recently tweeted that Stiles plans on pressing charges against Professor Clanton, though there is no verifiable evidence to support this claim.
Professor Eric Clanton, of Diablo Valley College, used a "U lock" to smash the head of a Trump supporter. pic.twitter.com/rsRm3NQBz5
— Based Monitored ???????? (@BasedMonitored) April 20, 2017
Most importantly, there’s no undeniable proof that the man seen hitting the Trump supporter is actually Eric Clanton. There’s been much speculation and digging regarding this Berkeley riot assault which have resulted in stories and accusations, but no certainties.
Furthermore, no verifiable proof has been presented to indicate that someone by the name of Sean Stiles was indeed the person we see getting smacked on the head with a bike lock in the video footage. Despite this, there are several social media and discussion forum users claiming that Sean Stiles is ready to press charges against Eric Clanton. There are also a handful of blog sites claiming in their headlines that Clanton has already been arrested, but at the time of this writing, there was no evidence to indicate that either of these things are true.
In the below tweet you can see partly how people came to their conclusions regarding Professor Clanton. However, nobody who was at the event has come out and specifically said they saw Eric Clanton assault someone with a bike lock. At this time the claims appear to be based on facial scrutinization between the bike lock attacker and images of Clanton available on the internet.
BERKELEY BIKELOCKER ATTACKER IDENTIFIED BY /pol/ as SanFran State U Prof Eric Clanton. Enjoy prison Professor!! pic.twitter.com/6HSzkUVfvX
— J.D. Aubé (@JadeAube) April 20, 2017
Jack Posobiec, a right-wing pundit associated with the alternative media organization The Rebel, is a primary source for where people are getting their information about this. Posobiec tweeted on Thursday that the supposed victim of the attack, Sean Stiles, planned on going to the police and holding Eric Clanton legally responsible for purposely smashing a bike lock against the left side of his head.
Victim Sean Stiles is pressing charges against Antifa Professor Eric Clanton pic.twitter.com/gN5VV35MXA
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) April 20, 2017
Several hours later, however, Posobiec sent out a pair of tweets that told a different story, saying that his “source” hasn’t yet pressed charges against Clanton because he’s leery of Berkeley law enforcement. Posobiec claims that Stiles said he reported the assault by Professor Clanton soon after it happened, but it was to no avail.
Source: I was at Berkeley all day and attacked by Eric Clanton but I haven't filed charges yet. I don't trust Berkeley PD
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) April 21, 2017
"I told the cops about bike lock guy minutes after it happened and they stood there and did nothing" https://t.co/24AiBHxiPJ
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) April 21, 2017
Rumor has it that Professor Eric Clanton’s identity was initially found by users of the forum site 4chan. There’s an archived thread (NSFW) dedicated to the professor.
Adding to the confusion of this scenario is the below tweet from the Politically Incorrect (/pol/) channel of 4chan, which seems to claim that Clanton recently purchased 14 bike locks, but the supplemented screenshots don’t support that claim.
/pol/ hacked into Amazon account of AntiFa Rioter who beat people w/ bikelock, Eric Clanton.
They sent him 14 bikelocks w/ 1-day shipping. pic.twitter.com/q9lBQqYX1t
— /pol/ News Network (@polNewsNet) April 20, 2017
The first shot shows a list of five items bought by Eric in 2016, none of which are bike locks. The second image shows that on April 20, he ordered 16 items that would be delivered the following day, but it doesn’t say what those items are. The last photo is a screenshot from 4chan in which a user is bragging about having hacked into Clanton’s Amazon account and purchasing 14 bike locks.
There is also no way to know for sure these screenshots were taken while someone was on Clanton’s account, as there’s surely millions of people named Eric with Amazon accounts.
The misleading nature of this tweet has suckered some, even reputable news outlets, into believing Eric Clanton had purchased bike locks prior to the Berkeley riots.
It’s impossible to know for sure if whoever tweeted the screenshots of Professor Clanton’s Amazon account purposely crafted the written portion to mislead those who didn’t take a closer look at the accompanying images, or if it was just a carelessly written tweet.
More accusations from people who seem convinced Eric Clanton is the guy who assaulted a Trump supporter with a U lock are posted across Twitter.
— Jeffrey Braun (@PanhandleExit) April 21, 2017
Can't help wondering if Diablo Valley College's professor Eric Clanton will be killing (and maybe composting) anyone for Earth Day…
— R.O.C.K. in the ???? (@ROCKInTheUSSA) April 21, 2017
Some people are also convinced, thanks to Jack Posobiec, that the Berkeley mayor is Antifa-friendly and thus protecting Clanton from legal trouble. Professor Clanton has also been doxxed, as tweets containing his personal information were posted in the last day.
@JackPosobiec The FBI needs to step in on the Eric Clanton case since multiple Berkeley officials seem to be involved with ANTIFA.
— Awake (@DPBLPatriot) April 21, 2017
So far, no authority figures of any kind, including law enforcement and Berkeley city and college officials have mentioned anything about the attack.
This is a developing story and will continue to be updated as things become clear and facts take the place of speculation.