Drug arrest leads to tense moments at Berkeley High

One of the inner courtyards at Berkeley High
The replica gun recovered in Monday's incident at MLK Park

Update, 11.01.11: The BPD has released a photograph of the replica gun officers recovered Monday in this case (left). It was a realistic looking Desert Eagle gun, the BPD reported. In an email release, the BDP writes: “The young man and woman are being booked at the BPD Juvenile booking facility, the 17 male who does not currently attend school for 148(PC) – Resisting or Obstructing an officer and the 15 year old (a 10th grade BHS student) for 11357(b) PC – Possession of less than 28.5 g of marijuana and an outstanding warrant.”

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Berkeley High officials briefly secured the school perimeter this afternoon after a 17-year old who had been stopped for selling drugs in MLK Park ran toward the area.

A Berkeley police officer witnessed a hand-to-hand drug transaction around 3:19 pm between the 17-year old and a 15-year old sophomore from Berkeley High, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss. The police officer rode his bike over to the teens and told them to sit down. He called for back up, but the 17-year old ran away and tossed a gun he was carrying under a car, said Sgt. Kusmiss. The officer caught up with the 17-year old and detained him. An investigation revealed the gun was a very-real looking fake Desert Eagle, said Sgt. Kusmiss.


As a safety precaution, Principal Pasquale Scuderi briefly closed the perimeter of the school, said Superintendent Bill Huyett.

“Our Campus Monitor alerted administrators and safety officers as these events transpired and we temporarily closed our perimeter, restricting any entry to the campus for approximately 5 minutes,” Scuderi said in an email sent to parents. “We did not activate a full campus lockdown as the incident appeared to be well contained by officers on the scene; however, the restricted perimeter was initiated as a precautionary measure until I could personally confer with officers on the scene.”

Scuderi also pointed out that the addition of four campus monitors this year played a role this afternoon’s action.

“Student safety is always at the top of our agenda and I should point out that the addition of Campus Monitors this year has given us expanded observation capabilities on our perimeter; that addition to our campus safety package proved quite useful this afternoon,” Scuderi wrote.

The teens were booked at the police department’s juvenile booking facility. The 15-year old girl was charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana. She also had a warrant out for her arrest. The 17-year old, who is not in school, was booked for resisting an officer.