Four Bay Area residents who say they were injured by protesters during a riot ahead of a speech by a right-wing provocateur at UC Berkeley filed a lawsuit against the university and the city, their attorneys said Tuesday.
The plaintiffs say in the suit, filed Thursday in federal court in Oakland, that officials failed to protect them from being pepper-sprayed and beaten when they were trying to attend a Feb. 1 speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative commentator. They are seeking unspecified damages.
John Jennings, his wife Katrina Redelsheimer and their friend Trever Hatch, all of San Francisco, say they were at UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza trying to verify the event had been canceled when a masked protester struck Jennings in the right temple with a wooden stick.
When Redelsheimer tried to help her husband, a group of protesters hit her in the head with a stick and pepper-sprayed them. The group then pushed Jennings to the ground and kicked him, the lawsuit states.
Both suffered concussions, broken or bruised ribs, cuts, burns and welts on their skin from pepper spray, according to the complaint.