Driver to enter plea after woman hurt in hit-and-run near Berkeley’s People’s Park

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

A Berkeley driver on probation for robbery — who reportedly fled in his car after knocking down a woman in the street, causing minor injuries, and hitting another vehicle as he tried to escape — is set to enter a plea in Alameda County Superior Court this week.

Authorities say James Jamell Watson-Dixon, 28, was driving on Dwight Way west of Hillegass Avenue on June 25 at 5:35 p.m. when he ran into a woman with his vehicle and knocked her to the ground, causing visible injuries and pain to her leg, according to court papers.

Before driving off, he stopped briefly and, as he did, a witness reached through his window and seized his wallet, which held Watson-Dixon’s driver’s license, among other documents. The witness later gave this to police.

The pedestrian who was injured did not require transportation to the hospital for medical treatment, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.


As Watson-Dixon fled the scene of that collision in his black Toyota Camry, he struck a white Acura SUV, causing minor property damage. A passenger in that vehicle was able to write down part of Watson-Dixon’s license plate, according to police.

He drove away, but police found him about 2 miles away near Harper and Woolsey streets in South Berkeley at 8 p.m. According to court papers, he admitted to striking a white SUV, and said someone had reached into his vehicle “and snatched his wallet and ID.”

He was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run causing injury, misdemeanor hit-and-run and probation violation, said Coats.

He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a $5,200 bail. He has been charged with a misdemeanor: leaving the scene of an accident.

He is scheduled to enter a plea after arraignment at 9 a.m. Friday, July 18, at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.


According to the Alameda County sheriff’s department, Watson-Dixon was sentenced in 2011 on robbery and conspiracy charges, for which he was on probation at the time of his arrest.

According to court papers, in that incident, police said he and another man knocked on the door of an apartment in the 1600 block of Fairview Street in Berkeley, forced their way inside and threatened to shoot and kill a man and woman inside.

Police said the men stole a computer, iPod, two cellphones, jewelry, $500 in cash, marijuana plants and fluorescent lights for the plants during that robbery.

Watson-Dixon is set for a probation review hearing in August.

Related:
Man arrested after DUI car crash, hit and run in Berkeley (04.02.14)
Man left with major leg injuries after hit-and-run crash (01.26.14)
Berkeley man strikes many cars, arrested for DUI (01.23.14)
Driver strikes 3 blind pedestrians in Berkeley, flees (10.25.13)


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