Video shows 'hospitality ambassador' beating homeless man

A man has been fired from his job as a hospitality ambassador in Berkeley after video surfaced that appears to show him beating a homeless man.

The nonprofit group that operates the ambassador program said another ambassador seen in the video has been suspended after it appears he did nothing to stop the alleged assault.

Two homeless men were arrested after the ambassador reported he was attacked, the Berkeley Police Department said. The ambassador reported that one of the men attacked him with a knife attached to the end of a stick.

Police prepared an additional report after speaking with the University of California, Berkeley student who recorded the incident, Berkeley police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said. The Alameda County district attorney's office is reviewing the matter, Coats said.

The chief executive of the nonprofit Downtown Berkeley Association apologized for the incident and said the ambassador had been fired. CEO John Caner said the ambassador in a report of the March 20 incident said he was acting in self-defense.

“This report did not represent the extent and severity of the altercation,” Caner said in a statement.

University of California, Berkeley student Bryan Hamilton recorded the incident. Hamilton said he heard arguing in the alleyway near his apartment and started recording the scene.

“I didn't think it would actually get out of hand at first,” he said.

It's common for fights to happen in the alleyway, but he had never seen an ambassador involved in one, Hamilton said. Police arrived shortly after the confrontation, he said.

The ambassadors' purpose is to create a more welcoming environment for residents and visitors.

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