A hospitality ambassador for the city of Berkeley was fired and his partner suspended after a video unearthed last week shows the employee - whose job it is to "create a more welcoming downtown" - beating a homeless man on the street.
Berkeley police had arrested the two homeless men, but ended up discovering the YouTube video this week , showing two ambassadors - identified in court documents as Jeffrey Bailey and Carmen Francois - on March 20 dressed in neon yellow caps and shirts telling two homeless people, Nathan Swor, 23, and James Cockereese, 29, to move along and out of an alley behind the CVS on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Bancroft Way.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that each homeless man pleaded no contest to a single count of misdemeanor battery. Both men were sentenced to probation, prosecutors said. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office is now reviewing the video and it's unclear what effect, if any, that will have on the homeless mens' legal fate.
The scene was captured by Bryan Hamilton, who filmed the event from a balcony above the street, posted the video on Sunday, according to Berkeleyside, which first reported the story.
As the pair of hospitality ambassadors approaches the pair of homeless men on the sidewalk, Cocklereese is seen yelling expletives at the ambassador, such as "Back the f--- up." Cocklereese then tells Bailey to get off his property - meaning the sidewalk.
That's when Bailey is seen grabing Cocklereese with his left arm, holding him to the ground, as he strikes him with his right hand 10 times as his female partner watches. Swor then picks up what looks like a pole and waves it at Bailey, who aggressively follows him down the alley. They shout at each other but no more punches are thrown.
"Clearly unacceptable and egregious behavior -- can't be tolerated," said Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner, who fired Bailey and put his partner on suspension.
The ambassadors did tell their supervisors about the confrontation, but said it was self defense.
The nonprofit Downtown Berkeley Association said the Hospitality Ambassador program helps keep the streets clean, give tourists directions and respond to property owner calls about people trespassing on private property. The program was started in April 2012 and currently has 20 ambassadors, according to Block by Block, a program paid for by property owners.
After Berkeley police arrested the two homeless men on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and making threats against the ambassadors, they found the video on YouTube on Wednesday, and took it to the District Attorney for review. Neither homeless man is in custody, Berkeleyside reported.
The video has prompted authorities to increase training at the Ambassador Program. It will also review procedures for background checks.
NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.