Gang members arrested after hurling bottles at police

West Side Berkeley, or WSB, gang graffiti appears in a variety of places on the west side of town. This was spotted in January on Sixth Street north of Allston Way. Photo: Emilie Raguso
West Side Berkeley, or WSB, gang graffiti appears in a variety of places on the west side of town. This was spotted in January on Sixth Street north of Allston Way. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeley Police officers arrested two men after they allegedly hurled glass bottles at a police officer and shouted insults at him Friday night, authorities said.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel said an officer who parked near Strawberry Creek Park on Friday Feb. 21 at 9:50 p.m. heard loud voices coming from the basketball courts and went to check it out.

The officer parked near 1326 Allston Way, at the Berkeley Corporation Yard, and saw two men walking south on the basketball courts while looking toward him, said Frankel, via email.

The men then threw glass bottles over a fence at the officer and shouted “F*ck the police!” Frankel said. The bottles landed 15-20 feet from where the officer was standing.


In response, other officers came to the scene to help detain the men, but police were unable to catch them at that time.

About an hour later, another Berkeley officer, at Cedar Rose Park, spotted two men matching the description from the earlier incident. He detained them, and the officer from the earlier incident identified the men as the ones who had thrown the bottles and yelled at him.

Police identified the men as known West Side Berkeley gang members, said Frankel.

West Side Berkeley gang members have been described by police as a Latino gang affiliated with the larger prison gang known as the Norteños. Highly visible graffiti on the west side of town reminds residents of the gang’s existence. Drive-by shootings and even murder have been tied in the past to members of its crew. In 2010, police said one member of the gang killed a Richmond man in Berkeley at Allston Way and Curtis Street. (Update, 1:45 p.m. Via police, that suspect has not been arrested: “The case is still actively being investigated and detectives follow every possible lead as they develop.”)

Friday night, Ricardo Locheo Chavez, 18, and Enrique Rodriguez, 20, were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and participating in a criminal street gang in connection with the bottle-throwing incident.

They are being held at the Berkeley Jail on bail of $130,000, and are scheduled for arraignment Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Related:
Shots fired early Saturday near West Berkeley park (11.02.13)
Berkeley home hotbed of crime and nuisance for decades (02.27.12)

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