Man pepper sprayed in fight over parking in Berkeley



A Berkeley man has been arrested after allegedly assaulting another man with pepper spray during a fight over parking, authorities said Monday.

Thursday, Jan. 23, shortly before 7 p.m., the two men got into a verbal altercation over parking on Delaware Street near Walnut Street, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police Department spokeswoman, in response to an inquiry from Berkeleyside.

“As the victim was seated in his vehicle, the suspect sprayed a substance in the victim’s face,” said Coats, via email. Police believe the substance was pepper spray. 

The suspect fled, and was detained by police a short time later.

The man was identified as Philip Wright, 54, of Berkeley. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a caustic chemical. He was booked into the Berkeley Jail but no longer appeared to be in custody as of Jan. 27.

The victim, a 30-year-old Berkeley man, was treated at the scene by the Berkeley Fire Department.

Berkeleyside provides exclusive coverage of many of Berkeley crimes. Read more here.

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  • Chris J

    Fighting over parking. Oh, the humanity!

  • Alina

    it’s getting real in the whole foods parking lot…

  • andrew johnson

    Parking sure has become pretty hectic in that neighborhood. Too bad there wasn’t a good guy with pepper spray on hand to neutralize the bad guy.

  • Jacob Lynn

    This is why rational parking policies have an uphill battle…

  • guest

    Just outside the “demand responsive” parking meter area. Wonder if that was an impact.

  • Neel Shah

    See! This is precisely why we should allow everybody to carry pepper spray… >_>

  • guest

    This is why everybody should carry guns.

  • bingo

    This ranks very low in the hierarchy of things I worry about while out in Berkeley…

  • viewsfromthebox

    What’s up with that map and all the odd topography, the free online mapping services… not so good.

  • Guest!


  • JuiceWeasel

    Such a traumatic incident.

    Let’s keep a prayer in our hearts for the 30-year-old Berkeley man.

    Please stop fighting over parking!

  • y_p_w

    Could get interesting. There was the case of two CCW permit holders in Michigan who shot each other stemming from an argument over who cut off who on the road. Both died.

  • guest

    If we had a pepper spray equivalent of an assault weapon, it would be something like a fire extinguisher that lets you shoot large amounts of pepper spray at everyone around you. I am sure it would be banned. It is much more dangerous to shoot bullets at everyone around you.

    But imagine what this encounter would have been like if he had been carrying a gun (not even an assault weapon) instead of pepper spray. Maybe something like this:

  • Guest!

    If we had a pepper spray equivalent of an assault weapon, it would be
    something like a fire extinguisher that lets you shoot large amounts of
    pepper spray at everyone around you. I am sure it would be banned.


  • Cammy

    They couldn’t do it the Seinfeld way?

  • guest

    “Is insincerity such a terrible thing? I think not. It is merely a method by which we can multiply our personalities.”
    -Oscar Wilde

  • batardo

    Actually, pepper spray is limited to 2.5 fl. oz. in California

    PC 22810(e)(1)

    No person shall purchase, possess, or use any tear gas weapon that expels a projectile, or that expels the tear gas by any method other than an aerosol spray, or that contains more than 2.5 ounces net weight of aerosol spray.

  • Guest!
  • guest?

    If they ever ban assault weapons, I will know what to buy.

    Purely for self-defense, of course, and for anyone I ever see texting during a movie.

  • Guest

    Love that video … but in this case, the assailant didn’t throw an organic bell pepper or even a jalapeño, but used some nasty pepper spray.

  • Valerie

    What is that a picture of on the home page? If it’s the victim, perhaps there should be a caption. If it’s a stock photo, that seems like a strange journalistic choice–adding drama without adding information.

  • bingo

    I was wondering that myself. Just odd.

  • Guest!

    If they ever come up with a tool that someone won’t eventually use for evil, let me know.

  • batardo

    Technically yes — CS/CN is not the same as Capsicum. But legally — see PC 17240. The 2.5oz limit covers both.

    (a) As used in this part, “tear gas” applies to and includes any liquid, gaseous
    or solid substance intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or
    permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispersed in the

  • Tizzielish

    Aren’t bullets projectiles?

  • guest

    Juice Weasel

  • batardo

    Sure, but I think the point of the law is to ban projectile-based irritants .. for example you can get 12GA shotgun shells loaded with “pepper balls”. Popular with LE, along with rubber bullets, etc. what they call “Less Lethal”

  • batard

    Loving prayers and warm wishes that you get out of my way when I’m trying to park at Berkeley Bowl, or I’ll get out and stick a compostable fork in you.