Police arrest man after ‘violent attack’ in West Berkeley

Image: Google Maps

Carlos Alberto Delagarza was arrested On April 7, 2014 after attacking a police officer on Bolivar Drive which runs alongside Aquatic Park in Berkeley. Image: Google Maps

Police arrested a 41-year-old man after he struggled with a Berkeley Police officer, tried to take his gun and jumped into the lagoon at Aquatic Park when the officer tried to detain him, authorities said Monday.

The officer received minor injuries during the altercation, and required medical treatment, said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman.

Police initially received a call Monday at 10:30 a.m. about a man on Bolivar Drive, between Bancroft Way and Addison Street, who was trying to set a fire with some type of liquid. A caller told police the man was on his or her roof, and was pouring some type of liquid into the street and lighting it on fire, authorities said.

The first officer who responded to the West Berkeley park tried to detain the man, later identified as Carlos Alberto Delagarza, said White. But he put up a struggle and the officer called for emergency assistance.

At one point, Delagarza tried to take the officer’s gun, and was on top of him during what White described as a “violent attack.”

Delagarza ultimately ran down the road and jumped into the lagoon at Aquatic Park, said White.

The officer chased the man and called for help from the Berkeley Fire Department as well. Firefighters were dispatched at 10:50 a.m., said Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb.

Authorities were able to get Delagarza out of the water and take him into custody, said White.

Webb said at least one ambulance and fire truck were dispatched to the scene. The suspect received minor injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment. One Berkeleyside reader reported a man “being taken away” from Bolivar Drive “in handcuffs on a stretcher.”

The officer went to the hospital on his own for medical care, said Webb.

The case remains under investigation, White said. As of Monday evening, the officer was “doing well,” he added.

Delagarza was arrested on suspicion of taking a firearm from a police officer, second-degree robbery, battery against an officer, battery with serious bodily injury, and attempted homicide, among other violations. (The man was identified as Juan Enriguez Ramirez by the Alameda County sheriff’s department, but police said Delagarza is the name on his driver’s license.)

He is being held without bail at Berkeley Jail and is scheduled for arraignment April 9 at 2 p.m. in Department 112 at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

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  • fran haselsteiner

    Thank you, officer, and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • bgal4


  • Berkopinionator

    State mental hospitals now! Berkeley should not be an open mental ward in the future.

  • TN

    I walk my dog in that area a lot and have been doing so for over 15 years. My observation is that the population of people living around the freeway with serious mental health issues has increased a lot of late. What I notice too is that the severity of the illnesses displayed by some have increased. I’ve seen people who are railing at and physically fighting invisible enemies.

    These people come and go. I don’t think that additional police enforcement of nuisance laws will do much, because even if taken into custody for minor crimes they don’t get long term treatment and they can’t be held very long. It is just a constant re-shuffling.

    In this case, this person was a danger to others and had to be stopped and arrested. He faces serious charges. Since jails and prisons seem to have more available mental health services than on the streets, hopefully this person will be forced to get treatment.

  • Bill N

    Maybe the county implementing Laura’s Law too.

  • TN

    I watched a report on this incident last night on KTVU news. From that report, I gather that the officer who was injured was highly qualified to deal with mental health issues. I think I know which officer that the report references. Since I don’t know for sure I’ll wait until it is made public to name him. I believe that this officer is a trained clinical psychologist who practiced before joining the police. And he is the officer who helps train other officers in crisis intervention.

    I had an interaction with this officer a few months ago when an elderly neighbor had a problem. I called the police to do a welfare check. I was impressed with how well the situation was dealt with. My neighbor is now getting the help she needs.

    I think that the City of Berkeley will need to consider equipping our officers with Tasers. If this particular officer couldn’t deal with the situation, it isn’t a question of training. The officer didn’t have the right tool to use.

  • sue

    I was headed North on 6th Street when a bunch of marked and unmarked police cars went flying towards the Bay. Nice to know what it was all about. Hope the officer makes a full recovery.

  • Cammy

    OK, Berkeley PD, please take note – this area is gross. It’s a disgrace. It’s disgusting. It smells like rotten eggs. I’m tired of rounding that corner and seeing all kinds of possible suspects dealing in prostitution, drugs, and who knows what else. Isn’t it time you stopped closing your eyes to this issue?

    Re this story. Thank goodness the police officer is OK. I wonder how many other problems they’d encounter if they actually patrolled the area. And the best punishment for the suspect was his jumping into the lagoon.

  • Cammy

    After being verbally and almost physically attacked by a mentally ill homeless man, I was told by Berkeley PD, they knew all about him. They’d arrest him, hold him for a bit, and let him go back on the streets. The police officer was nice enough and honest about the state of things. Sure, we never want to go back to the days of “One Flew Over the cuckoo’s Nest” but now we have seriously mentally ill folks out on the streets. It’s a very sad situation. All part of “dereging” public institutions.

  • Chris

    Could the number increase be due to the Albany Bulb “evictions”?

  • TN

    I walked by the area this morning. From what I can tell from the leftover yellow police crime scene tape, the incident happened at the complex of buildings being actively used by the Waterside Workshops and the Bay Area Outdoor Recreation Project (BORP). These are the old wooden buildings near Addison Street on Bolivar Way.

    If the suspect was on the roof of one of these buildings with a flammable liquid and lighting it, he had to be stopped immediately. At that time of day, the complex would have been occupied. The buildings themselves are very flammable.

    The officer did not draw his gun. I wish that he had another alternative to trying to stop this person other than to get involved physically.

  • TN

    From what I can tell, from reading the Albany Patch and from visiting the Bulb regularly, the number of campers there hasn’t diminished significantly.

    My take is that this increase in the population of mentally ill homeless people is independent of the situation at the Albany Bulb. It started before the Albany situation heated up. I don’t know the reason behind the increase.

  • guest

    Weather is probably one of the largest factors. It’s been a long, cold, wet winter in most of the country. Those kind of conditions often produce mass migrations like this.

  • TN

    I think that this logic applies to the “travelers” who wander from place to place. We know that there is a well worn path up and down the West Coast from Washington State to California. There is another path from the North East to Northern California. When I graduated from college in Boston and first moved to Berkeley decades ago, I was surprised to find the same street people I recognized as individuals and encountered in Boston here in Berkeley. But there are now many more homeless people evident on the street than back then.

    But I don’t think that the population of severely mentally ill has the wherewithal to move that rationally.

    I don’t have a good, plausible hypothesis as to why I’m seeing a recent increase in the number of severely mentally ill homeless people around the freeway in Berkeley.

  • emraguso

    Here’s our follow-up story regarding a renewed call for Tasers by Berkeley Police: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/04/10/berkeley-police-renew-call-for-tasers-after-attempted-killing-of-officer/

  • moore

    Tazers do work and they are not as messy as .45 cal or a 9mm. We shohld gu e our Police Canines as well.No drones or Helicopters.