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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons
Tree Sitter's Accuser Taken For Assault
Austin D. White aka Drayco was handcuffed and taken by UC Berkeley police Monday during Food not Bombs. He had threatened three individuals, and assaulted a fourth. Austin White is the entire basis of the charges against Midnight Matt. The Muwekma Park (People's Park, Berkeley) tree sitter was forced down from the tree at gun point, after Austin White made the questionable claim that Midnight Matt tried to murder him. (In court, Midnight Matt faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.) Austin White made the claim that he himself was not a violent person.
White had threatened two separate individuals on the Free Speech stage, in a dispute around a pile of free bread. One man, a local Berkeley resident (non-homeless) had asked White to stop threatening him, and to back off, saying he would call the police. Bizarrely, white yelled "snitch", despite the fact he himself is currently in the process of having Midnight Matt prosecuted for a period of up to a decade.
The second person threatened by White ended up on the ground, yet still was being threatened. White had to be intercepted to prevent him from beating the man on the ground.
A third individual, a local activist, was threatened by White in the Food Not Bombs line itself. At this time the UC police had entered the Park and watched White yelling at the man.
A fourth individual, another local activist, was punched in the head literally in front of the police, who were just a few feet away from this incident. Subsequently, Austin White, the accuser of Midnight Matt, was handcuffed and placed in a UC police car.
After he was driven away, one Berkeley city police officer arrived at the scene. The UC police and the Berkeley officer swept the west end of the Park. As a result, two other people were arrested for unrelated, non-violent incidents.
Correction to the story... The charge is battery, not assault as previously stated.
02/07/2011 03:48 PM PEOPLES PARK BERKELEY
PC 148(A) M OBSTRUCT PUBLIC OFFICER
PC 242 M BATTERY
All is quiet on the western front.