Sex offender arrested after grabbing 3-year-old

Lew Olive. Image: UCPD

Lew Olive. Image: UCPD

Authorities in Berkeley arrested a registered sex offender over the weekend after he allegedly grabbed a man and his 3-year-old daughter just south of the UC Berkeley campus.

According to a statement released by the University of California Police Department, officers on patrol Saturday, April 19, just after 5 p.m. saw the disturbance unfold.

Police said the girl and her parents had been walking on Bancroft Way near Barrow Lane, just east of Telegraph Avenue, when Lew Olive approached them and started talking to the 3-year-old.

The family tried to walk away from Olive, police said, but he “followed and grabbed both the child and the father’s arms in an attempt to pull them apart.”

The struggle lifted the child several feet off the ground, according to police.

Officers got out of a nearby patrol car, approached the group and told Olive to release the girl.

According to the police statement, Olive resisted arrest, but was restrained by UCPD officers and taken into custody.

Police said Olive has had prior arrests and is a sex offender registrant under Megan’s Law.

According to the Megan’s Law website, Olive has been in violation of his registration requirements since early February, and has no address listed on the website, where he is identified as “transient.”

According to the Megan’s Law database, Olive has prior convictions related to indecent exposure and annoying or molesting a child under 18.

Olive is in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $105,000.

According to the Alameda County district attorney’s office, Olive was charged with one felony — child molesting with a prior violent sex offense, and two misdemeanors: battery and resisting arrest.

He was convicted in 2009 for failing to register as a sex offender, in 2007 for child molestation, twice in 2000 for indecent exposure, in 1988 for the sale or transportation of marijuana, and in 1985 for indecent exposure.

Olive was scheduled for an attorney and plea hearing Wednesday morning at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

This story was updated shortly after publication to include the age of the child and additional charging information. His prior convictions were added later in the day after authorities provided that information.

Arrested man linked to 3 indecent exposure incidents (05.31.13)
Police seek help after indecent exposure arrest (05.04.13)

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  • Woolsey

    This poor girl has been traumatized for life – ripped from her father’s arms. The parents are probably traumatized too. What if the police didn’t happen to be there. So why isn’t this guy locked away permanently? – I know: not enough room in the jails and prisons. Will the Alameda DA really prosecute or plead this down to misdemeanor disturbing the peace.

  • Guest

    Broad daylight? Next to a police station? Time to commit a crime!

  • Anon

    My daughter got into Washington school for kindergarten. With all the transients downtown and unsecured schoolyard, this creeps me out. Call me crazy.

  • Heather_W_62

    I hope that she will not be reminded of it in any detail, and that her age allows the memory to fade.

  • jth

    The mentally ill do not think like you or I.

  • Guest

    I’m seriously pondering whether this is a city in which I want to continue to raise my children.

  • Anon

    If it’s any consolation our kid’s in 3rd grade at Washington. Been there since K. Never had a problem.

    They lock the gate facing MLK right after drop-off. Most transients don’t come around MLK during the day and the Police Department is 2-3 blocks away.

  • Guest

    I was just walking there with my daughter on Friday. I’m seriously freaked out. My husband is livid.


    Human Garbage. He should be tossed into a pit with a dozen hungry alligators. Scum like that has no place in society.

  • guest

    Lock him up forever after he is convicted.

  • Truth Sayer

    According the the aforementioned article, “Olive was charged with one felony — child molesting with a prior violent sex offense, and two misdemeanors: battery and resisting arrest.” Only one felony? The charges are paltry compared to his misdeeds.

  • Truth Sayer

    You are probably are correct using the term “mentally ill.” As my description of him would not be acceptable by Berkeleyside.

  • guest

    On the plus side, he’s unlike to have a pleasant experience in prison.

  • Just Sayin

    Good case for chemical castration.

  • Pondering

    One wonders if homeless creeps like this would continue to flock to Berkeley if we had passed the Sit/Lie law and finally shut down the open air mental ward that is People’s Park.

  • EBGuy

    Lets not wallow in the past. This guy appears to have a couple of screws loose and seems to be like a prime candidate for Laura’s Law. We need to see this fully implemented by Alameda County. Even Jesse voted for the Laura’s Law trial run by the county. I do wonder if the Telegraph ambassadors knew this guy by sight.

  • Doug F

    Good start on supporting his insanity plea. It takes a special kind of psycho to try to rip a toddler from her father’s hand in a crowded area, next to a police station.

  • Twill Monkey

    There are some good suggestions: chemical castration, life in prison and a coherent plan for dealing with the homeless problem in Berkeley. I do not understand how there can be so many unmonitored sex offenders on the sex offender registry in such a small city. What is the purpose of the police here anyway? It’s not like this is LA or some other large metropolis.

  • Guest

    Does Megan’s Law apply to the homeless? Or, rather, how might we enforce it for the homeless? My child’s day care is a couple of blocks from People’s Park, and it can be frightening to walk by with children. We’ve been barked at (by people), yelled at, growled at.

  • Berkeley mom

    I have lived in the area for 32 years and have never heard of any similar incident in Berkeley. My child attends Washington and there aee no issues. Crazy people exist everywhere. You can liveclide in fear of every possible crime. Remember children are most at risk from known folks not some stranger on the street. Thankfully her father and the police prevented a more serious situation.

  • eLisabethH

    To those who read this story and are tempted to react out of fear and concern that children are not safe here, that maybe they need to consider schools somewhere else, or that we all need to worry more about our children’s safety, I want to remind you that this is ONE story. Hardly an indication of a pattern of sexual assaults in the area. It’s a horrible thing that happened to this child, certainly, but I think our children are safer on the streets of berkeley from sexual predators than they are from distracted drivers.

    To those who think that there’s something wrong with our justice and mental health system for letting this guy walk around loose, I agree, but maybe not for exactly the same reasons as all the other commenters. Part of the reason why Megan’s Law doesn’t work is that there are far too many people getting labeled as sex offenders and the designation is practically meaningless. There are many men on that list who have been there since age 19 or so for just one infraction having to do with their having sex with their underage girlfriends and her parents finding out. Once that happens it is almost impossible for them to have the label “sex offender” removed and their lives are changed forever for something most people would consider a youthful misjudgment – or maybe even normal. Their presence on the sex offender registry makes police oversight of real sexual predators that much more challenging.

    I encourage everyone, however, reading this story to let it be a reminder of how rare these kinds of assaults actually are and that is a sign of how SAFE our children actually are, not how threatened.

  • guest

    That’s funny, when I searched the Megan’s Law database for the south campus area zip code, 94704, I didn’t find lots and lots of misdemeanor statutory rape convictions. By misdemeanor, I mean the kind where the perpetrator is no more than three years older than the victim, which would include your 19 year old man, sixteen year old girl scenario (please refer to CA penal code 261.5 (b) and (c) for the distinction between felony and misdemeanor statutory rape.)

    Instead, I found a mere six listings, the majority of which were for offenses against children under the age of 14 (including oral copulation by force or fear), or for assault, or for enticing minors for the purpose of prostitution. The only person registered because of an offense against a minor under 18 (as opposed to 14) also had a conviction for indecent exposure, which kinda makes me think this wasn’t a Romeo and Juliet scenario. The results for other zip codes were similar — lots of offenses against kids under 14, and when there’s a conviction date, it shows that the perpetrator was decades older.

    So I’m skeptical about your claim that Megan’s Law is some sort of indiscriminate dragnet for horny guys in their late teens with younger girlfriends. It seems to function pretty much as intended. You seem to have an agenda, one that has nothing to do with the question of whether or not Berkeley is safe for kids.

    Personally, I doubt it’s significantly worse than any other city the same size.

  • eLisabethH

    I SEEM to have an agenda? I’m pretty sure I DO have one, which I articulated plainly in paragraph 3. I’ll spell it out even more – let’s let reason prevail when we are faced with with situations that might tempt us to globalized fear.

    I’m not sure at what point I indicated that this was an issue only in the 94704 region. I was giving an example of how the broad definition of “sex offender” in one of the contributing factors that makes the law difficult to enforce. I’m sure when you went to the Megan’s Law site to conduct your research you had to accept the disclaimer ( that states the site is prone to errors and omissions.

    A big part of the reason that Megan’s Law has like most laws unintended consequences (as most laws do) which are not being corrected is that if a policymaker suggests we refine the list and leave off the some of the less offensive offenders, her/his political opponents would likely start crying “soft on crime!” so it probably seems like political suicide for anyone to attempt it.

    So, yeah, again, my scary agenda is “nothing to fear but fear itself.”

  • TN

    There are many registered sex offenders registered as “transient.” Under “Jessica’s Law” many offenders are prohibited from registering as living within 2000 feet of a school or playground. If they have no permanent place of residence, they can register as being homeless.

    There are very few if any residences in Berkeley or many other urban areas that are not within 2000 feet (as the crow flies) of a park or school. “Parks” and “schools” are very broadly defined.

    This law has encouraged rootlessness among released offenders.

    This law is another mess brought to us by popular initiative.