Man arrested after attempted murder, car crash in Berkeley

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After a car chase with the Berkeley police in the early hours of Oct. 23,  the attempted murder suspect crashed this 2003 Ford Explorer into a tree on the Alameda, north of Hopkins Street. The vehicle’s right side was sheared open by the impact with the tree. Photo: Berkeley Police

Berkeley police officers arrested a suspect in an apparent attempted murder case early Wednesday morning, following a pursuit in which the suspect struck a police car, and later crashed into a tree in North Berkeley, destroying his vehicle.

The attack took place in the early hours of Wednesday, Oct. 23, in downtown Berkeley.

The victim, a 41-year-old male from Oakland, suffered major injuries, and is in critical condition in a local hospital.

The suspect, Duane Nailor, 54, of Texas, is being treated in a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries suffered during the collision. Nailor has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and related violations to be determined, according to police.

At approximately 12:45 a.m., police received numerous calls reporting a man being violently beaten at the northeast corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street, according to a statement released by the Berkeley Police Department on Wednesday afternoon. Witnesses reported seeing the suspect using a weapon to beat the victim, who was down on the ground. The suspect also broke the car window of a passing motorist, then returned to beat the victim.

The statement continues: “As officers approached, the suspect fled west on Center Street, driving a sport utility vehicle. Witnesses directed the officers towards the suspect’s vehicle, which was westbound on Center Street. The suspect turned from Center Street north into the southbound traffic lane of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, where he struck a responding police car. The suspect then fled at a high rate of speed, speeding north on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

“Officers pursued the vehicle, but lost sight of the vehicle due to its high rate of speed. As officers arrived in the area of the Alameda and Hopkins Street, they found the suspect’s vehicle had been involved in a solo vehicle collision, and the suspect attempting to flee on foot. The suspect was taken into custody. Officers determined the vehicle had collided with a tree on the Alameda north of Hopkins Street. The vehicle’s right side was sheared open by the impact with the tree.”

The Alameda near Hopkins Street was closed for several hours, and is now open to all traffic.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. The police currently have no information regarding the circumstances leading up to the attack.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident to call the Homicide Detail at 510-981-5741, or the non-emergency number at 510-981-5900. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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  • Mrdrew3782

    He walked away from THAT! The car looks completely demolished. I am glad he was caught quickly. Who knows what else he would have done if he had gotten away…sigh….the things that happen at night.

  • Alina

    Thank you for reporting. I live on Hopkins and there were numerous emergency vehicles going by with lights and sirens last night. I figured it was something serious. Cops don’t usually run their sirens in the wee hours through a residential area.

  • Chris

    This looks like it might be the suspect:

  • PSO

    “Might” be? You better be sure before you post someone’s FB page who is being arrested for attempted murder.

  • I’m Right

    he’s from Texas

  • Michael

    Duane Nailor, from Texas:
    “worked at none”
    “studied at none”

    Yup. That’s the guy.

  • What a Moron

    Graduated high school in 78. That would make him the right age. That is definitely him.

  • BerkeleyCitizen

    Reminds me why I continue to drive my old Mercedes. Why do I think this is yet another instance of the brutality overflow from Oakland, even if via Texas this time?

  • Doug F

    Good tree. Give the nice tree more fertilizer.

    It’s always hilarious when a hood who never attempted high school physics thinks his top-heavy bad-handling SUV can go around corners faster than a police sedan. That’s quite a gentle bend where The Alameda crosses Hopkins (@ the N Berkeley Library)–he must’ve been going insanely fast, along with being an incompetent driver in a lousy vehicle.

    It was also very considerate of him to take a route thru Center @ King, i.e. right at the corner where the main police station is, ensuring a good supply of pursuing police cars even before he sideswiped one. Out-of-towner. It’s a good thing most crooks are so dumb; it makes them so easy to catch.

  • Truth Sayer

    I checked his blog and where he live on the web, and this is not the guy. It is representable that you would post someone’s face book page without any proof what so ever. Your posting is a classic example of “Better hand wrong fella than no fella.” Please do the right thing and remove your thoughtlessness.

  • Truth Sayer

    The guy on the Facebook is in Georgia!

  • bgal4


    what is the relation between victim and perp?

  • bgal4

    the weapon was a crowbar.

  • reel old school

    Might be?! you need to not do this.

  • guest

    dog whistle

  • emraguso

    What does that mean?

  • Krystal

    I can confirm that is indeed the Duane Nailor in question. The SUV pictured was stolen from my close family member after he assaulted both myself and another family member. The man is a monster with a whole list of convictions. Our condolences go out to the person injured in all this.

  • Marvey Hilk

    Great job, tree!

  • Owen

    The guy posted pictures of the accident on his facebook page!!!! How totally bizarre.

  • emraguso

    Our photo is from the Berkeley Police Department. Did you see others?

  • B2B

    How the hell did he post the picture of the crashed vehicle on FB when he was apprehended shortly after trying to flee and is currently in the hospital ( and under arrest)? Something doesn’t make sense here.

    The photo on his FB page is the same picture from Berkeleyside.

  • emraguso

    Good question. I guess that advances the hypothesis that it is indeed his facebook page. Unless he just has a sense of humor about people who are arrested who have the same name as he has. Perhaps he had access to a phone before he was booked into custody…

  • Krystal

    It was done to inform his enabling family of what a monster he really is.

  • emraguso

    Ah — I didn’t consider the possibility that someone else posted it to his account. Mystery solved… sounds like you’ve been through quite an ordeal.