Police find empty house after reported hostage call

Two police vehicles at Tacoma and  Colusa. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Two police vehicles at Tacoma and Colusa. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Update, 11:45 p.m. Berkeley Police Lt. Jennifer Louis confirmed that police have cleared a home in the 1800 block of Tacoma Avenue, and found no one inside despite an earlier report of a dangerous situation there.

Louis said a caller phoned dispatch at 9:26 p.m. to report a domestic violence incident at the North Berkeley home.

Officers responded and searched the home, but ultimately found it to be empty.

Louis said the caller provided “very limited information” while speaking with dispatch, and that there was a possibility the call had been a hoax.


Update, 11:30 p.m. Officers have swept the house and determined that the interior is clear. Perimeter units have been released from the area.

Original post, 10:52 p.m. Berkeley police officers are on the scene in the 1800 block of Tacoma Avenue, between Colusa Avenue and The Alameda, after a man called police and told them he had stabbed his girlfriend, had tied up her lover and was threatening to shoot him.

Reports at this time are unconfirmed, gleaned from scanner audio recordings, but Berkeleyside has requested confirmation from the Berkeley Police Department and will update this post if more information is provided.

A dispatcher told police over the scanner that the man, who called police at around 9:30 p.m., said he had a gun and threatened to shoot officers if they came to the door. He then hung up.

Police responded to the scene to secure the block, and requested assistance from the city’s on-call mental health counselor. They discussed the possibility of calling in a negotiator as well, according to scanner recordings.


A dispatcher was able to get the man back on the telephone, and “now he’s saying he possibly has explosives,” the dispatcher told police.

Image: Google maps
Image: Google maps

Police also discussed the possibility of bringing rifles to the scene to secure the area.

Berkeleyside’s Tracey Taylor reported at 10:50 p.m. that many police were still in the area, along with many worried neighbors.

Berkeleyside will update this post when more information is provided.

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