All Felony Assault Charges Dropped Against Bike Lock Prof. He’ll Serve Three Years Of Probation

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A California professor accused of bashing an individual in the head with a bike lock received three years of probation on Wednesday.

California convicted former Diablo Valley College ethics professor Eric Clanton of misdemeanor simple battery, but dropped three felony assault charges, according to the Alameda Superior Court database.

Clanton allegedly smacked an individual on the head with a bike lock in Berkeley, California, on April 15, 2017. Users on the social media site 4chan matched the former professor’s clothing, backpack straps and facial structure to that of the assailant. Police arrested Clanton on May 24, 2017. (RELATED: Police Arrest Professor Accused Of ‘Bike Lock’ Assault)

Clanton originally faced up to 11 years in prison. He was supposed to have a preliminary hearing Wednesday, but instead entered into a plea deal, reported Berkeleyside. Clanton submitted a “no contest” plea for misdemeanor battery and, in exchange, had three felony assault charges, a felony for inflicting serious bodily injury, and a misdemeanor mask-wearing charge dismissed.


Berkeley police reported that the former professor had hit at least seven people in the head with a bike lock. He allegedly hit one victim in the back and neck, another on a helmet, severing a piece of it off, and another across the head, creating a wound that needed five staples to mend.

Clanton’s court record showed that he served four days in jail.

The California Highway Patrol arrested Clanton in January 2014, suspecting that he was “willfully and maliciously” blocking a public vicinity and performing a “public nuisance,” but police did not charge him during that occasion and the former professor has not had any previous convictions.

The former professor called the concept of a moral high ground a notion of the “narrative class,” in a May interview with Rolling Stone. But while he spoke to the publication, he did not submit himself to a police interview and “immediately invoked his rights to an attorney,” according to court documents obtained by Berkeleyside.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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