UC Berkeley Employee Celebrated On-Campus Attack of Conservative Activist

February 23, 2019 Updated: February 23, 2019

An employee of the University of California, Berkeley was caught celebrating an on-campus attack of a conservative activist.

Yuvi Panda, who works for the university’s Data Science Education Program as a DevOps Architect, took to Twitter after video footage of the attack circulated online.

“Oh my god the MAGA people on UC Berkeley campus got punched in the face by someone this makes me feel emotionally so much better,” Panda wrote in a post on Twitter, reported the Campus Reform blog.

“Thank you, random stranger …  Hope you aren’t in too much trouble.”

Panda previously wrote that he saw the Turning Point USA table on campus and it made him “sad and angry.”

“I’ve been angry a lot recently.”

A university spokesman confirmed that Panda is employed by the school.

“This person does not speak for the university, does not represent the university, and does not share the university’s values,” the spokesman told Campus Reform. “The University has made clear through word and deed that violence and harassment are reprehensible and intolerable, no matter who the perpetrators and victims are, or what they believe in.”

However, the spokesman said that the university has “no legal ability to control or sanction what employees do during their free time.”

Panda later deleted the tweets in question and made his account private. He also removed his profile picture and removed most information from his bio. He left the following: “He/him. Opinions are my own.”

A still image from video footage that showed a man punching a University of California, Berkeley student. (TPUSA)

Campus police, meanwhile, said on Feb. 22 that officers had potentially identified the man seen in the video punching the conservative activist. Officers said in a statement that the man had not yet been arrested and also declined to publish his name.

“Based on current information available to the department, the suspect is not a student at, or affiliate of the University,” police stated.

A screenshot from video recorded of the attack clearly showed the assailant’s face, leading to the identification. Campus police said that anyone with information on the attack should call the campus police office at (510) 642-0472 or (510) 642-6760.

According to Turning Point USA, the victim, Hayden Williams, is not a member of the conservative group but was assisting members in recruiting on campus for the group.

The fight took place at the university on the afternoon of Feb. 19. Video showed two men approaching the table and one slapping away a phone from the victim before knocking over the table. When the victim tried to get his phone back, the assailant punched the victim several times.

Warning: Videos contains graphic violence and language.

Charlie Kirk, the head of the organization, posted footage showing the fight and said: “While recruiting for our TPUSA group at UC Berkeley a leftist thug comes and assaults our activists [sic], punching him in the face and hitting him repeatedly.

“Imagine if the attacker was wearing MAGA hat, would be national news! This is the violent left!” he added.

Benny Johnson, chief creative officer for TPUSA, said that Williams “sustained massive injuries” and was hospitalized.

In a statement, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ and Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton said that the footage showed “a reprehensible 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. That sort of behavior is intolerable and has no place here. Our commitment to freedom of expression and belief is unwavering,” the officials stated.

“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.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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