Police Blotter: Occupy Berkeley

Dan Stone packs up his tent at the Occupy Berkeley encampment in case they are removed from Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, California, late Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Photo: David Yee

In the two months since Occupy Berkeley set up camp in Civic Center Park, Berkeley police have responded to 33 calls for service to the park, 24 of which were classified as crimes. The most serious of these included an attempted rape, a stabbing, and a few assaults. Police also issued 46 citations for smoking in a public space and drinking alcohol.

At its height, there were about 70 tents pitched at the park with a population of about 150 people.

Berkeley police released this partial list of activity at the Occupy Berkeley camp.

10/23/11 11:25 p.m. Battery
Did not wish police services

10/24/11 11:11 a.m. Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Felony) – a Stick, Brandishing, Threats, Battery
A victim from Occupy Berkeley to safety at the Public Safety Building after a known woman suspect living in a tent there attacked and threatened him, causing lacerations to the side of his face. The suspect accused the victim of stealing her money and then attacked him. The suspect allegedly scratched his face with her fingernails, pulled out a knife and chased him, trying to stab him, and then picked up a picket sign stick and beat him. She threatened to have the victim killed by her acquaintances from Oakland. There were people in the area/likely numerous witnesses in Occupy Berkeley at the time, but nobody would cooperate with BPD officers on scene.

10/25/11 12:33 a.m. – Threats, Vandalism

10/25/11 11:22 a.m. – Mental Health Related

10/15/11 9:27 p.m. – Battery
A male victim reported that a suspect he knows punched him three times in a dispute over a mutual girlfriend. They claim no affiliation with the Occupy Berkeley protest. The suspect had fled prior to BPD arrival.

10/30/11 12:30 p.m. – Battery
A victim came to the Public Safety Building (PSB) to report a battery in Civic Center Park by unknown suspect. Both the suspect and victim were gone when BPD officers arrived. No further leads.

11/1/11 12:00 p.m. Suspicious Circumstance

11/3/11 10:48 a.m. Animal Bite

11/15/11 8:11 p.m. Suspicious Circumstance (regarding a dispute)

11/26/11 1:37 a.m. Lewd Conduct, False Imprisonment, Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
A male suspect, a camper at Occupy Berkeley entered a woman’s tent (uninvited) at the Occupy Berkeley gathering and began masturbating in front of the victim while preventing her from leaving. Incident to the suspect’s arrest, the BPD Officer found that the suspect had a dagger in his possession.

11/27/11 6:01 p.m. Brandishing a Firearm, Battery 7
The victim, a camper at Occupy Berkeley reported his tent had been torn down and urinated on earlier in the day. Someone in the camp pointed out the individual who was responsible to the victim and the victim confronted him about the incident. The victim told the suspect to leave the park. The suspect pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the victim. The suspect’s friends surrounded the victim and one of them struck him over the head several times with a blunt object causing an injury to his head.

11/30/11 5:46 p.m. Theft, Possession of an Unlawful Weapon 8 (Initial Crime did not occur in the Park, but suspect fled and sought hiding in Occupy Berkeley)
A suspect stole a bottle of alcohol from Trader Joe’s at University Avenue and MLK Jr. Way. The suspect fled from store security into Occupy Berkeley and disappeared. A witness said that the suspect was armed with a machete, but there was no report of him brandishing the weapon.

12/01/11 10:45 p.m. Advice

12/02/11 8:01 a.m. – Battery

12/02/11 2:04 p.m. Animal Bite

12/03/11 8:22 p.m. – Battery
BPD Officers responded to a report of a fight in progress in the area of Occupy Berkeley. When BPD officers arrived, the individuals were still fighting, but separated and one party fled the scene. The other party declined any police service. Many people witnessed the fight, but no one chose to cooperate with the BPD officers regarding the incident.

12/03/11 9:42 a.m. Battery
Nobody in Occupy Berkeley chose to assist BPD and no witnesses were located or came forward. The victim left before the investigation was complete and refused to cooperate any further.

12/04/11 10:58 a.m. Resisting Arrest, Probation Violation, Foot Chase 12
A suspect was spotted by a BPD officer in the Occupy Berkeley gathering and matched the description of a suspect from a battery the day prior (12/03/11 0822). (see above) When the BPD officer attempted to stop him, the suspect fled on foot. The officer detained him after a brief foot chase. The BPD officer arrested the suspect for the previous battery as well as resisting arrest and a probation violation.

12/04/11 8:20 p.m. Disturbance

12/05/11 4:32 p.m. Assault with a Deadly Weapon, (Felonies) Battery, Criminal Threats
Victim was accosted by the Suspect in Civic Center Park (they have had ongoing problems). Suspect “sucker-punched‟ the victim, knocking him to the ground, began making threats, and subsequently began strangling the victim until he could not breathe. Bystanders pulled the suspect off the victim. The suspect then attacked the victim again, striking him in the head. BPD arrested the suspect, a 58 year old Berkeley man. The victim had a scratch to his throat, pain in and around his throat that made it difficult to swallow, a large bump on his forehead and complained of pain to his jaw.

12/06/11 9:55 p.m. – Suspicious Circumstance
Officers responded to a report of a ‘brawl’ with approximately 30 subjects yelling at each other and dogs barking. Upon arrival officers saw several individuals involved in a verbal dispute. Subjects inside the camp began chanting “f*#k the police”. The disturbance apparently stemmed from an earlier fight between a man and a naked woman, where the man dragged the naked woman out of his tent and slammed her on the ground (though she apparently left unhurt). The man and woman involved were not located.

12/06/11 10:30 p.m. Alcohol Offense, Resisting Arrest, Parole Violation (Felony)
An anonymous person called BPD to report a fight at the corner of Shattuck and Kittredge. In process of checking for the involved parties, the suspect was spotted as a possible suspect by BPD officers. When officers attempted to detain the suspect, he attempted to spit on officers and yelled “No! I am not going to show you my f*#k‟ hands, I am with Occupy!” The suspect was clearly intoxicated. He continued to attempt to resist arrest, but was eventually taken into custody. A records check revealed that he was active to parole for robbery out of Los Angeles.

12/06/11 11:45 p.m.Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Felony), Possession of Methamphetamine, Probation Violation
An unknown party called the police to report an assault via a two-by-four piece of lumber at Occupy Gathering in Civic Center Park. BPD Officers arrived and located the victim, who had a large abrasion on his forehead. The suspect was detained and positively identified. The suspect had methamphetamine in his possession and is active to probation for possession of methamphetamine.

12/07/11 5:17 p.m. Battery
Victim, a female juvenile, reported being victim of battery in Civic Center Park. An adult male Occupy Camp member confronted the victim about something she said and when she told him to mind his own business he stated he was going to get his wife to beat her up. He then went to his tent, got his wife, and she came out and pushed the victim. Parties were separated by friends. No prosecution requested. No witnesses would corroborate either party’s statement.

12/10/11 6:56 p.m. Possession of a Deadly Weapon, False Identification to a Police Officer, Probation Violation, Theft
Three members of Occupy Berkeley attempted to steal alcohol from Safeway. When BPD officers detained them, one of the detainees lied about his name. Once his true identity was discovered, a records check revealed that he had an outstanding warrant for possession of a controlled substance and was on probation for possession of a controlled substance and battery. When BPD searched him incident to arrest for the warrant, officer found a machete, a hammer, a gas mask and a BB gun. (replica gun that is very realistic looking)

12/14/11 12:29 a.m. – Disturbance, possible assault/battery
Officers responded to a report of 20-plus people fighting in Civic Center Park at the Occupy Berkeley Camp. Upon arrival the crowd had dispersed. No victims or suspects were located.

12/14/11 12:29 a.m. Prostitution
Officers responding to a report of a fight at Civic Center Park were informed by an Occupy Berkeley camp resident that a teenage prostitution ring was operating out of the park. No further details were provided, investigation continues.

12/14/11 1:35 a.m.Disturbance, possible assault/battery
Officers responded to another report of a fight in Civic Center Park. Again the crowd had dispersed, and nobody came forward to provide any further information.

12/16/11 11:30 p.m. Possession of marijuana for sales
Officers witnessed a suspected drug deal in the Occupy Berkeley Camp. Officers arrested the suspect for possession of marijuana for sales.

12/16/11 6:30 p.m. Battery, Criminal Threats
Two subjects in the Occupy Berkeley Camp were witnessed by officers in a physical fight. One suspect was arrested for battery and criminal threats.

12/16/11 5:55 p.m. Violation of Court Stay-Away Order
Suspect, a well-known drug dealer who is on probation for felony possession of marijuana, was arrested in the Occupy Berkeley Camp for violation of his stay-away order.

12/17/11 11:40 a.m. Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Callers reported a fight in the Occupy Berkeley Camp. When officers arrived, they were told a suspect had stabbed a victim. The victim had fled, but the suspect was taken into custody and a large knife was seized as evidence (see below). The victim has still not been located; however there are several independent witnesses

12/20/11 7:28 p.m. Attempted Sexual Assault – 24
A male member of the Occupy Berkeley Camp entered the tent of a woman and attempted to force her to have sex with him. The victim fought off the suspect and fled the tent. BPD officers were patrolling the Occupy Berkeley Camp and she flagged them down for help. BPD officers arrested the suspect for the attempted rape/sexual assault, 220 PC.

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  • Charles_Siegel

    We can see the effectiveness of the Occupy movement generally by looking at the 99% act, just introduced in Congress, which would restore the top marginal tax rate to 49% (still far below its 1950s level).  See http://www.rebuildthedream.com/infographics/99act/?akid=326.2306.wpYYbw&rd=1&t=2

    Of course, no one was even talking about the 99% before the Occupy movement began.

    I have thought from the beginning that the Occupy movement had less chance of success in Berkeley than in other places, because it would attract people who are not politically motivated and who do not behave well.  But the failure in Berkeley should not make us condemn the larger Occupy movement.

  • Anonymous

    What were the crime statistics in the park before Occupy took residence? I live a few blocks away and I can’t think of a time when I walked by where I didn’t see alcohol/drugs/smoking taking place (before Occupy).

    If allowing the encampment to continue allows attempted rapes to continue, then I fully support ending the encampment. But the idea that this park was some moral haven of legality before Occupy came in is, quite frankly, hilarious.

  • Bruce Love

    Before things went to hell one funny observation I heard from camp was that the high school kids were not only the worst litterers but also, what the hell’s up with them, they smoke way too much — do they all have death wishes or something?  (Referring to tobacco.)   Ah, the good ol’ days.

  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
    The idea that nobody was talking about income disparity in America before Occupy is unadulterated horse flop.

    Here’s a video about the subject, put on Youtube in 2006 and originally created sometime in the early 1990s if my memory serves me correctly.


    The act you refer to has absolutely zero chance of passing, and is little more than political theater.
    It’s so jam packed full of unrelated issues that it will be impossible to get a majority to vote for it.

    End the war in Afghanistan? Slash the military budget by $200 billion? Require 75 percent of the goods and services purchased by the federal government to be made in America? Creating 4 million new government jobs?All well and good on their own (maybe) but why on earth are they being rammed into a bill that’s supposed to raise the marginal tax rates on the rich? Why is all this stuff being packaged together into one bill, instead of being addressed separately?This is just more stupid “GOTCHA!” political theater, where one side puts together a steaming pile of poorly written legislation that they KNOW can’t possibly pass, and then use it as a weapon to attack their opponents when they don’t vote for it for legitimate reasons.Meaningless political theater, at a time when real action is needed.Two party politics is destroying America.

  • BerkeleyCommonSense

    So if it was bad before, it’s okay to make it worse?  If I was dumping diesel into the bay, and you stopped me and I said, “But the bay was already polluted!”  Would you think I had a valid point?

  • veritas

    250,000 homes forclosed in California alone. Let’s not forget that implicit in a forclosure is forcible eviction and incarceration by the Sherrif’s Department. So that’s 250,000 acts of violence. Which begs the question: Why do we hold David to a higher standard than Goliath?

  • Ryan

    Sure, there was crime in the park before, but it was a *much* different place before Occupy.  It was nice to see it in happier times in the video for DJ Dave/LaeCharles’ “Berkeley Enough” posted on this site yesterday.  If you’ve forgotten what the park used to be like, watch the last minute of the video.  There are multiple shots that show it as an urban jewel instead of the refugee camp it now resembles.  Hopefully it will look like that again by spring…

  • Let’s not forget that implicit in a forclosure is forcible eviction and incarceration by the Sherrif’s Department.

    Let’s not forget that that’s a lie, and that plenty of people who have their homes foreclosed upon leave of their own accord and do not need to be forcibly evicted, not to mention that many foreclosed homes in California were second and third homes bought by real estate speculators trying to make a quick buck.

  • Lhasa7

    Last week I had a visit from an out-of-town friend who had exhibited at one of the holiday craft fairs last year. He couldn’t believe it when I took him by the encampment and explained that unfortunate vendors were obliged to set up shop within a few feet of those filthy tents.

  • Andrew

    This story is about crime at the Occupy Berkeley camp, and for that reason alone it should be shut down. What is going on there has nothing to do with the Occupy Wall Street movement or any form of positive social and political change.

  • veritas

    That’s not a lie, my friend, that’s the law. Please refresh yourself on the definition of implicit. If people did not leave their homes “voluntarily” then they would be forced out. Force = Violence. But this is not my point. I was asking a philosophical question. By the likes of your reply I wonder if you possess the perspicacity to respond to it? Anyone? You see, no one in their right mind could ever be against the occupy movement or any of its tactics. People only think they are against it because they have been so thoroughly propagandized. What a shame for humanity.

  • Chris23

    If all repossesions are violence, then the Cal protestors on Nov 9 were violent.

    You sure you want to make the force=violence association for any kind of force?

  • Anonymous

    no one forced the home buyers at gun point to sign the loan documents last time i checked you have to be an adult to buy a house therefore each person was responsible for their own actions including reading the fine print and understanding and accepting the worst case scenario. I’m sick of people not taking responsibility for their own actions. most of the 250,000 people were buying homes over their heads or getting second loans on their homes to buy cars and boats.

  • Charles_Siegel

    I actually said: “no one was even talking about the 99% before the Occupy movement began.”

    Can you find a reference to “the 99%” or “the 1%” (used as free-standing nouns) before the Occupy movement began? 

    Now, they are part of everyday vocabulary.  It is strange how much you can affect the national discussion just by creating this sort of catchphrase (or meme) that catches on.

  • If people did not leave their homes “voluntarily” then they would be forced out.

    But most do.
    Ergo your assumption that all home foreclosures result in violent forced evictions is false.

    And you didn’t “ask a philosophical question.”
    You made the statement that forclosure = forced eviction = violence.

    I hate to say it, but right now you typify what so many people dislike about Occupy supporters.
    20-somethings working on their graduate degrees spewing faux-intellectual gobbledygook. Yuck.

  • Fair enough. Occupy has definitely promoted the use of new catch phrases.
    I guess that’s useful, if you think that making political decisions based on catch phrases is a good idea.

  • Andrew

    Incarceration? Really? 250,000 people incarcerated for not paying their mortgages?

    I’m with the others that a lot of those folks (who were evicted) were simply in over their heads and got themselves into trouble. It happens. Cars get repo’ed too.

    Most people borrow money and pay it back on time. A few don’t, for whatever reason. That’s how it goes. And when you don’t, there’s a consequence, whether you end up in that situation through your own foolish or through hard luck. Hopefully in the latter case a friend or relative can help you out.

  • veritas

    Egad! Blocking the port is not peaceful, it too – like foreclosure – is a violent act, because implicit in that act is the truck driver running your ass over.  Writing graffiti or breaking a window or lighting things on fire, however, is not violence – it is vandalism.  Please lets not get brainwashed into thinking the use of force on an inanimate object is violence. And, if you have been following the news or our courts, as it turns out most of the foreclosures were due to predatory lending to minorities.  So this vast global economic meltdown is, at its heart, racist.  The philosophical question I posed above was about David and Goliath. It’s a pretty good one, too – it’d be nice to hear some responses to it. Doubtful, though.  And just for the record, camping is what you do in the woods. C’mon folks, who in their right mind would uphold a city ordinance over a common right a man?! Remember this one: “Why is it that it is illegal for both a rich man and a poor man to sleep under a bridge.  Who is more likely to do so?  If the laws are unjust then the just man is in jail.”  Ok anyone got any more cliches to add…?

  • Charles_Siegel

    Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a constitutional amendment ending corporate personhood.  You might want to sign his petition at http://sanders.senate.gov/petition/?uid=f1c2660f-54b9-4193-86a4-ec2c39342c6c

    Everyone is saying that Putin is doing badly in Russia partly because one blogger invented the catchphrase “party of crooks and swindlers” to describe his party, and now everyone is using it.  It must be catchier in Russian than in translation.

    Beyond catchphrases, I think it is obvious that there is a connection between Occupy Cal demanding lower tuition and Birgeneau’s announcement a few weeks later of a policy that lowers tuition for the middle class.  That is a striking practical success of the Occupy movement, and it happened here in Berkeley.

    The bill I linked to above may not pass, but I think Obama’s push to repeal the Bush tax cut for the highest bracket, raising it to 39.5%, may well succeed – and that may just be the first tax increase on the rich.

  • Charles_Siegel

    It is true, as a couple of replies say, that people have a responsibility to borrow money only if they can repay it.

    But it is also true that the banks have an obligation to do due diligence and to lend only to people who can probably repay the loans.  Instead, the banks give subprime mortgage loans to people who clearly could not repay:

    “These high-interest-rate loans were typically made to borrowers with
    poor credit, often with no documentation of their income or assets.
    Those loans were bundled into securities sold to investors.
    home prices plunged and borrowers defaulted on their loans, these
    securities became the “toxic assets” clogging credit markets.

    subprime lending business has since disappeared, and with it major
    lenders including Countrywide, Ameriquest and New Century. But before
    the shakeout, 21 of the top 25 national subprime lenders had been
    financed by banks that received bailout money…”

    In fact, both the banks and the borrowers assumed that real estate values would keep going up forever, so that, if all else failed, they would be able to resell the house at a profit.  That is the definition of a bubble.  .

  • Precisely.

  • It would be interesting to find out whether more crimes were committed in Berkeley as a whole during occupy, or if the number/type of crimes didn’t really change but were concentrated in the park.

  • Guest Goodall

    Stealing money from people just because they have more than you is still theft Charles_S. The folks that make minimum wage think YOUR tax rate should double and they should all be able to live rent free at your house.
    In October 2011 BofA, after being bailed out with public money for past stupid and possibly illegal investments, tried to raise rates on millions by charging their customers $5/month for using their ATM. Thousands changed banks. In the same month the US government raised the deficit on every single citizen by $650 plus future interest. Very few left the Country which was the only option. Don’t be a fool.

  • Thanks for the link to Sanders’ petition.
    I like Sen. Sanders a lot. I don’t always agree with him, but he’s one of the few politicians in America who isn’t a crook.

    California residents have been complaining about how increasingly unaffordable UC schools are for the middle class for about 10 years now, and the UC system moves at a snail’s pace. While I understand where you’re coming from, I think it’s a bit of a leap to say that that policy was a result of Occupy Cal, rather than something that had been in the works for quite a while. Occupy Cal may have gotten them to roll the policy out sooner than they would have otherwise, but a slow-moving beast like the UC system wouldn’t be able to produce and ratify policy like that in such a short time.

    My problem with the “99% Act” is not that the bill might not pass. It’s that the bill is designed to fail as a result of packaging too many things together. I don’t like it when politicians play games like this when so much is at stake.

    I also hope Obama is successful in getting the Bush tax cuts ended. But, if he is, I hope they’re ended for everyone.

  • John Holland

    The Sharkey wrote:

    The idea that nobody was talking about income disparity in America before Occupy is unadulterated horse flop.

    Of course, people have been talking about income disparity.

    But now, thanks to Occupy, more people are listening.

  • Lori

    If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Lori

    I agree completely.

  • Charles_Siegel

    Sharkey, I think we actually agree on more things than we disagree on.  I agree with virtually everything in this latest comment.  

  • Charles_Siegel

    Stealing money from them is theft.  Taxing them is not.

    The motto of the American revolution was “taxation without representation is tyranny” — NOT  “taxation is tyranny.”

  • Bruce Love

    Because of Occupy, continued funding for police militarization and anti-insurgency training will gain support and more people are aware of the state’s fundamental vulnerabilities in that area.   Also, a lot of younger people are learning faster than they might have the nuances of how local politics and policing really work.   There are a great deal of practical results here that have nothing to do with the ostensible politics of Occupy.

  • onesmallhand

    It is also true that Countrywide used fraud (“bait and switch” tactics) to intimidate low-income and minority homeowners into more costly mortgages.  These mortgages – due to higher interest rates and fees – were more likely to result in default than the mortgages the households had originally agreed to:

    “The second most common story I hear from homeowners… is they were bait-and-switched to sub-prime loans. … When people showed up to a closing there was a sub-prime loan when they’d asked for, qualified for, and agreed to a standard loan. But then they were told “you can walk away but then you’ll be in breach to the seller since we are offering you a loan, and then the seller will then sue you and you’ll ruin their own closing .. but don’t worry because you can always refi it into a prime loan.” “http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/dojs-christmas-present-to-bank-of-america-335-million-settlement-for-discriminatory-lending-charges-at-countrywide.html

  • Martinshort

    I agree as well, but sadly there’s not much hope when your typical Berzerkeleite would rather arguing about the goverment then the people who are bringing crime into their neighborhoods–unless it happen to be on their block.

  • Anonymous

    actually because of occupy more people are turning a def ear, they lost my support as soon as it became a homeless encampment.

  • John Holland

    I wasn’t refferring to people like you. I was referring to people like Frank Luntz and the entire Republican party.

  • John Holland

    If you look at crimemapping.com, there was a huge increase in crime after the park was occupied.