Violent footage emerged on Thursday that appears to show a hospitality ambassador for a Berkeley downtown business association attacking a homeless man, who was blamed for the incident and later charged with a count of misdemeanor battery.
John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association (DBA), which coordinates the ambassador program, apologized on Thursday for the incident, and said the ambassador who appears to punch the homeless man had been fired.
A second hospitality ambassador who failed to intervene has been suspended, pending an investigation, Caner said.
He said the association was “shocked by this totally unacceptable egregious behavior, that runs completely contrary to the extensive training, protocols, and mission of hospitality and outreach of our ambassadors”.
“As CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, I want to personally, and on the behalf of the DBA board and staff, apologize to the victim of this beating, and the entire Berkeley community,” he said in a statement.
Caner said the ambassadors reported the incident, as instructed, but that they had said that their actions were taken in “self-defense”.