Berkeley protest victim speaks after police say stabbing allegations are false

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- In a battle of tweets, Berkeley police said Friday that reports on social media that a woman was stabbed by an Antifa member at a protest outside of conservative radio host Ben Shapiro's speech at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday night are false.

Berkeley police said in a tweet that, "Online accounts surrounding a stabbing at last night's protest are false."

"I don't know how anyone can look at this and not see there was an altercation," said Celeste Paradise, the woman at the center of the debate. "I was not simply pushed, I was grabbed and thrown down."

Paradise swears at least two people hurt her. She says they tossed her on the ground so hard she had a mild concussion.

Right-wing activist Kyle Chapman, known as the "Based Stick Man," started the rumor Saturday morning by tweeting, "A Ben Shapiro supporter was stabbed in the neck by Antifa terrorists last night in Berkeley CA."

Chapman, a 41-year-old Daly City man who's charged with felony possession of a leaded cane for allegedly brandishing a leaded stick at a rally in Berkeley in March, described the woman's attacker as a "demon scum leftist" and asked people to "please pray 4her."

But Berkeley police said in another tweet today that Paradise "fell and wasn't pushed."

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Police said, "No fight. That is what she told us at the scene. These are the actual facts."

"They don't have to say I said I tripped because I know what I felt and there were people yelling at me and saying 'we will 'f' you up' and all that stuff," said Paradise.

Jose Ornelas was also there. Though he didn't see what happened, he does think the police are purposefully downplaying the incident.

"I think their attempt was so they could prove they could have a no incident event," saod Ornelas.

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Berkeley police said nine people were arrested in protests before, during and after Shapiro's speech at Zellerbach Playhouse on Thursday night for alleged offenses that include carrying banned weapons, battery on a peace officer, disturbing the peace and public intoxication.

Police said there were no reports of injuries or property damage.

The Bay City Times contributed to this report.

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Ben Shapiro is set to speak at the UC Berkeley campus on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

Click here for a look back at stories and videos about recent protests around the Bay Area.
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