Man arrested after attempted Berkeley homicide with baseball bat following Cal frat house fight

Image: Google maps
Image: Google maps

Police arrested a 23-year-old Oakland man over the weekend in Berkeley after he reportedly struck two males over the head with a baseball bat, causing what authorities described as “significant injuries.”

Sunday, at 1:25 a.m., the Berkeley Police Department responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon in the 2700 block of Durant Avenue, near College Avenue, just south of the UC Berkeley campus.

Witnesses reported two groups of people in a verbal argument in the rear parking lot of a fraternity, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, in response to a request from Berkeleyside.

Witnesses told police that punches were thrown between members of the groups, and that the verbal argument then continued.


At that point, a vehicle pulled up to the area and parked. One of the groups walked toward the vehicle and continued to yell at the other group, Coats said via email.

A man later identified as Frank Paul Watson “grabbed a baseball bat from the trunk of the vehicle,” Coats said, “then approached the first victim and without warning struck him over the head. The suspect then approached the second victim and again without warning, struck him over the head, causing significant injuries to both victims.”

The man identified as Watson ran back to the vehicle and got inside. The vehicle fled on Durant Avenue and turned right on Piedmont Avenue, heading south.

Authorities broadcast the suspect and vehicle description over the radio, and a Berkeley Police officer spotted the vehicle near Warring and Parker streets, Coats said.

The officer tried to stop the vehicle, and the occupants tried to run from the scene. Police were able to detain Watson at the stop location, said Coats.


After their investigation, police arrested Watson on suspicion of attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon and probation violation.

The Berkeley Fire Department transported both victims to a local hospital for medical care, but no additional information was available about their condition due to privacy laws.

Watson is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday, April 29, at 2 p.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. He is being held without bail at the Berkeley Jail.

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