Downtown Berkeley ambassador fired for beating homeless man
BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - The video of a downtown Berkeley ambassador beating a homeless man is posted on YouTube.
The worker in the video was trained to help the public and homeless outreach.
The attack took place in an alley way behind the CVS at the corner of Shattuck and Bancroft.
The video shows an ambassador wearing a neon green polo shirt arguing with a homeless man and then punching him several times.
A second ambassador, a woman, can be heard giving orders to a second homeless man who was waving some sort of stick.
Then, the male ambassador can be seen confronting the second homeless man and appeared to be taunting him.
The incident took place Sunday around 7 p.m.
Berkeley police responded to the incident and arrested the two homeless men.
"I was shocked and extremely disappointed ...really troubled. We do a lot of training," said John Caner, CEO of Downton Berkeley Association which contracts with Block-by-Block, the company that hires the ambassadors.
Caner says he learned about the video for the first time Thursday morning. He says the male ambassador was fired Thursday and the female was suspended indefinitely.
"This guy snapped for some reason, totally inexcusable. We take full responsibility for it," said Caner.
KTVU has learned male ambassador is 39-year-old Jeffery Bailey and has worked as an ambassador for one year.
"He told me he defended himself," said Lance Goree, operations manager with Downtown Berkeley Association.
Goree supervises the ambassadors, and tells KTVU Bailey had a run-in with the same homeless men hours earlier the same day and was threatened with physical violence.
Goree says ambassadors are trained to do outreach to homeless people and to call police for help when there's a threat.
"No ambassador should initiate this type of physical interaction and that's why he was fired," said Goree.
A homeless man named Ronald Hall tells KTVU he's friends with the two men involved in the altercation.
He says Bailey also confronted him Sunday evening before attacking his friends. "That happened right after we had a run- in with him across the street in that dumpster area. He came and started messing with us and I packed my stuff and went to the corner. He followed them...instigating and messing with them," said Hall.
One of the two homeless men has been released from jail.
The other is still being held on drug related charges.