Man seen in viral video punching conservative activist in the face on Berkeley campus pleads not guilty

Neetu Chandak, DCNF

Zachary Greenberg pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attacking conservative activist Hayden Williams at the University of California at Berkeley on Feb. 19.


“He was using the library at UC Berkeley to study,” Greenberg’s attorney Alanna Coopersmith said. “He has a clean record. I realize that many people observing this case are interested in constitutional freedom. I would remind them that one important constitutional freedom is the presumption of innocence, due process of law, due process in a courtroom, not on social media or the internet.”


Williams’s attorney Harmeet Dhillon was not surprised by the not guilty plea.

“It is customary for criminal defendants to enter a not guilty plea, so I’m not surprised by that,” Dhillon told The Daily Caller News Foundation over the phone.

Greenberg was ordered to not contact Williams and is not allowed within 100 yards of UC Berkeley’s campus, Dhillon said.

Dhillon added that she is currently reviewing documents from other court proceedings involving Greenberg and will not publicly comment about the specifics currently.

“This isn’t his first rush with the court system, he’s had several instances in civil court,” Dhillon told TheDCNF.

A preliminary hearing in a different court room for this issue will be on April 9, according to Dhillon.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed three felony and one misdemeanor charges against Greenberg Tuesday.

Williams, who works for the Leadership Institute, was helping students of the school’s Turning Point USA chapter with a recruitment event when he was allegedly punched by Greenberg on Feb. 19. Greenberg is not a student at the university.

“Unlike many universities, we have no walls or gates,” UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told TheDCNF. “We are open, as a matter of law, at all times to the public.”

Coopersmith and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

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