Campus police at the University of California, Berkeley, have arrested one man, and are seeking another, in connection with several instances of graffiti found Saturday, authorities said.
According to police, “This crime is classified as a hate crime because while documenting the scene the officers noted derogatory graffiti towards sexual orientation.”
Saturday night at about 10:30, the University of California Police Department received a report of two males who were spray painting graffiti at the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences. The center, on Oxford Street near Hearst Avenue, opened this semester after its dedication in October.
An officer who arrived found vandalism on the east side of the building, and a witness pointed the officer in the direction of the vandals, who had left south toward the Eucalyptus Grove.
The officer walked on and spotted graffiti on Mulford Hall, between Li Ka Shing and the grove, according to a UCPD statement. The officer then observed a male in a brown jacket spray painting a nearby tree.
As that male took off running, another person “stood up from behind a wall and tried to flee the scene south toward University Drive.”
Police apprehended the second runner at University near the west Crescent, according to police.
Authorities identified him as 23-year-old Anthony Aaron Garcia. Police said he cut his forehead during the pursuit. After receiving medical care, he was taken into custody.
Police were unable to catch the other individual on Saturday. According to authorities, his first name is “Chris,” and he is 6 feet 2 inches tall and 200 pounds. He was wearing a brown jacket.
Police ask anyone with additional information to call the University of California Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau at 510-642-0472 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; the department can be reached at 510-642-6760 at all other times.
In case of an emergency, police can be reached by calling 9-1-1. Berkeley campus police can be reached directly by cell phone at 510-642-3333.
[Editor's Note: Berkeleyside is working to improve our crime coverage, on the assumption that public safety coverage is important to the community. We're taking steps to get more timely and detailed information from local authorities, and are getting a sense of what we can provide. We're continuing to offer a range of coverage, which you can see under the "All the News" tab above. We haven't dialed back on any other coverage as a result. Increased coverage is not an indication of a crime spike. The police department is working on one of its annual reports, which will offer more context on overall crime trends. We'll have the story when it's available.]
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