This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.
From March 10-16, there were reports of three robberies, three burglaries, 17 assaults or batteries, one weapon-involved call and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also nine stolen vehicles, 14 disturbances and 29 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. One vehicle theft was reported to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals in this blotter are presumed innocent. Find our March 10-16 round-up below some of the most newsworthy incidents from the past week.
The latest public safety incidents
TWO ROBBERIES AROUND CAMPUS UCPD reported two robberies around campus Tuesday, March 29. At 7:05 p.m., a 19-year-old student was walking in the Ellsworth Parking Structure (at Haste Street) when two males approached him. One held his arms while the other went through his pockets and took his wallet. Police couldn’t find the suspects. One was described as black, in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 10 with a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. The other was of unknown race with a red flannel shirt, tan cargo shorts and long white socks.
The next incident took place at 9:30 p.m. on Spieker Plaza, near the Octagon Bridge, when two women sitting on a bench asked to borrow the phone of an 18-year-old student. He agreed, but when he tried to get the phone back, they threatened him and ran off toward Shattuck Avenue. Police searched but could not find the women. One was described as black, in her 20s, about 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with an athletic build, wearing a gray sweatshirt and black pants. The other was an East Indian female, 19 to 20 years old, with braided hair wearing all black clothes. UCPD asks anyone with information to call 510-642-6760.
SEXUAL ASSAULT AT SEABREEZE Police responded Monday, March 28, at 10:30 p.m. to a report of a sexual assault in the parking lot of the Seabreeze Market (University Avenue and Frontage) at Eastshore State Park. East Bay Regional Park District police interviewed the woman, who was treated and released from a local hospital. The man and woman knew each other. Police were working earlier this week to find the man, said EBRPD spokeswoman Carolyn Jones.
CROWBAR ASSAULT AT ASHBY BART Also Monday, an Ashby BART station agent said a man with a metal crowbar tried to assault him at about 5:40 p.m. The agent was able to disarm the man and escape without injury, but the man left the area. Berkeley Police officers found the man at a nearby gas station and took him into custody. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and taken to jail. His name was not immediately available.
STANDOFF ON FAIRVIEW Last Friday, March 25, police responded to the 1500 block of Fairview for a domestic dispute around 7 p.m. When police arrived, the man involved would not come outside. Police believed he had a gun, and spent hours negotiating with him to convince him to surrender, which he ultimately did. Berkeleyside shared updates on Twitter and Facebook as the incident unfolded. Police had left the area by around midnight Saturday morning.
STRONG-ARM ROBBERY ON TELEGRAPH UCPD let the community know about two men who tried to rob someone of his backpack outside Café Mediterranean, 2475 Telegraph Ave., March 22 at 1:40 p.m. Two men approached the 33-year-old victim and demanded his backpack, using threats of violence. The man ran into the cafe to escape. He called UCPD, who responded but could not find the robbers. They were both described as Hispanic men in their 20s with a light build. One was 5 foot 10 with brown hair wearing a black cap and a white sleeveless shirt, and carrying a black hooded sweatshirt. The other was 5 foot 8 with brown “slicked back” hair, wearing a denim jacket.
CURB PAINTING SCAM? Todd Leslie shared the following photo of a flyer about a curb painting service that is making the rounds in West Berkeley. Leslie describes it as a scam — he says flyers are being dropped off and then curbs are painted, whether you want it or not, after which “donations” are sought. See what our readers had to say about this on Facebook. About a year ago, Berkeleyside readers also were frustrated about the same “service.” Berkeleyside has asked the city for additional information. [Update, April 14: We heard back from BPD: "This company does not have a City permit so it’s therefore in violation of a BMC. It however doesn’t necessarily mean this is a scam (i.e. if they might do the work if you pay fee).”]
The week in review: March 10-16
Thursday, March 10
There were two disturbance calls, at 6:07 a.m. in the 2100 block of Oregon Street, and at 9:28 a.m. in the 1500 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard.
There was a home burglary at 9:28 a.m. in the 1500 block of Grizzly Peak.
A vehicle was stolen at 2 p.m. in the 2000 block of Berkeley Way.
Police arrested Daryl Flood, 58, in Oakland on suspicion of a series of drug- and firearm-related violations. He is no longer in custody, having been released on a $100,000 bond, and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing April 12.
There was a call involving a gun or other weapon at 6:12 p.m. in the 1600 block of Shattuck Avenue.
Friday, March 11
Two vehicles were stolen, at 6 a.m. in the 1100 block of Ward Street, and at 9 p.m. in the 2400 block of West Street.
There were two felony assaults or batteries, at 9:25 a.m. in the 1100 block of Allston Way, and at 2 p.m. in the 2000 block of Eighth Street.
Police responded to Bancroft Way and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, near Washington Elementary School, to handle an arrest, said BPD spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. She said the police activity was in no way related to the schools in the area: “We responded to a reported battery in the area of San Pablo Ave. and Allston. Responding officers to that scene were flagged down by involved parties in the area of McGee and Bancroft. At least one party was detained at Bancroft and MLK where the investigation proceeded. One officer was slightly injured during the detention. An arrest was made.” Coats said she could release no further information. W. Kamau Bell shared photographs of the response and subsequent arrest, saying police “swarmed his car like a movie.” According to the preliminary scanner information, an Amazon driver was assaulted by one or two individuals in a Mini Cooper, but it was unclear what prompted the assault.
Police arrested Jack Boston, 18, on a warrant for attempted robbery in connection with a UCPD case from 2015. He was arrested in Richmond at 12:50 p.m. Boston was released on his own recognizance but is scheduled to report for sentencing April 21.
According to information previously released, Aug. 9, 2015 at 11:52 p.m., UCPD received a report of an attempted armed robbery that had just occurred on the Grinnell Pathway north of Alumni House. The victim, a 21-year-old male student, noticed two men standing on the Octagon Bridge. After walking past them, the student felt something hard pressed against the back of his head. He turned, and one of the men was pointing a gun at him. The student began to yell and the men fled westbound on the Grinnell Pathway.
There was a second-response call at 9:21 p.m. in the 2600 block of Regent Street.
There was a misdemeanor sexual assault at 11 p.m. in the 2300 block of Warring Street.
There was a disturbance at 11:21 p.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Saturday, March 12
Two vehicles were stolen, at midnight in the 1600 block of Prince Street, and at 10 p.m. in the 1300 block of Summit Road.
There was a second-response call at 12:07 a.m. in the 2700 block of Channing Way.
There was a felony assault or battery at 1:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of San Pablo Avenue.
There was a disturbance at 4:20 a.m. in the 1900 block of Delaware Street.
The Berkeley Fire Department responded to what turned out to be an electrical motor burning out at Landmark Shattuck Cinemas downtown at around 4:30 p.m. The theaters were evacuated. People were given vouchers for another screening. Berkeleyside posted photographs, shared with us by Ted Friedman, on Facebook.
There was a commercial burglary at 8 a.m. in the 600 block of Harrison Street.
There was a robbery at 8 p.m. at Haste and Bowditch streets.
Sunday, March 13
There were three second-response calls: at midnight in the 3000 block of Benvenue Avenue; at 12:29 a.m. in the 2200 block of Dwight Way; and at 12:41 a.m. in the 2300 block of Carleton Street.
There was a disturbance at noon in the 2300 block of Ward Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 3 p.m. in the 600 block of Woodmont Avenue.
There was a robbery at 4:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Solano Avenue.
There was a felony assault or battery at 5:57 p.m. in the 1500 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard. Police arrested a 53-year-old man in connection with this incident, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He appears to have been charged with drug-related violations and misdemeanor obstruction. He’s no longer in custody and is set for a procedural hearing May 5, according to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office.
Monday, March 14
There was a home burglary at 3 a.m. in the 1500 block of Grant Street.
The Malcolm X Elementary School community was on alert after a young girl reported that two men in a green van followed her to school. One of the men got out and tried to grab her, prompting her to run away. The description of the van was similar to the description of a vehicle used in one of the five child abduction incidents in the fall. Read the full story on Berkeleyside.
There was a robbery at 3 p.m. at Ashby and San Pablo avenues.
Police responded to Ohlone Park at about 3:30 p.m. for a report of a man who had been struck in the head with a hammer. He sustained a significant injury and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Police said they did not know what prompted the assault, but that it did not appear to have been random. The victim was expected to survive, authorities said. No one has been arrested. The weapon was not recovered.
There were two disturbance calls, at 7:10 p.m. in the 2500 block of Bancroft Way, and at 9:38 p.m. in the 1500 block of Tyler Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 10:15 p.m. in the 800 block of Neilson Street.
Tuesday, March 15
A vehicle was stolen at 9 a.m. in the 1600 block of Alcatraz Avenue.
There were two felony assaults or batteries, at 11:25 a.m. at Delaware Street and San Pablo Avenue, and at 6:45 p.m. in the 2000 block of Ashby Avenue.
Police responded to a shooting on Delaware and San Pablo with one confirmed victim, authorities said. Read the full story, with live updates. Councilwoman Linda Maio’s office has organized a meeting Saturday, April 2, at the Berkeley Adult School to discuss the violence: “The third shooting in just a few years at San Pablo and Delaware is a third too many. It is time for more concerted action.” See the meeting flier.
In the second incident, police arrested 19-year-old Reginald Jackson of Berkeley on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, committing a felony while on bail and endangering the health of an elder. He remains in custody with a bail of $180,000 at Santa Rita Jail. Jackson was previously arrested Oct. 2 on suspicion of robbery in connection with an incident in the 900 block of Heinz Avenue in Berkeley. He was released on bail.
Wednesday, March 16
There was a felony assault or battery at 1:04 a.m. at Tremont and Prince streets.
Police responded to South Berkeley, near Tremont and Prince near Ashby BART station, for a report of a shooting with a male victim in the area shortly after 1 a.m. At 1:20 a.m., Berkeley police were called to a local hospital for a report of a female victim who had been dropped off with gunshot wounds. Read the full story on Berkeleyside.
A 40-year-old man turned himself in to police following a shooting on San Pablo on Tuesday that left a 28-year-old man in critical condition. Ali Griffin, a registered sex offender, is now facing his third strike. Don’t miss Berkeleyside’s latest update on the case. As noted above, Councilwoman Maio’s office has organized a meeting Saturday, April 2, at the Berkeley Adult School to discuss the violence. See the meeting flier.
There were two disturbance calls, at 3 p.m. in the 1600 block of 63rd Street, and at 7:13 p.m. at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street.
A vehicle was stolen at 8 p.m. in the 1700 block of Virginia Street.
Jury deliberations began in the trial of 26-year-old Brandon Wallace, who was charged in the murder and attempted murder of two men in 2010 on a sunny morning outside a South Berkeley barbershop. (After less than two full days of deliberation he was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm.)
Berkeley public safety data resources
- See the Berkeley Police Department’s crime reports on CrimeMapping.
- See the list of calls to UCPD, also posted in brief on CrimeMapping, and UCPD crime alerts.
- See Local Crime News’ list of arrests of Berkeley residents.
- Other sources of information on crime in Berkeley include the Police Department’s CrimeView Community and CrimeMapping.com.
- The Berkeley Police Department also posts a “calls for service” heat map.
- Learn about what info BPD can release to the public.
Please note: These items represent a sampling of calls; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period. New reports may be added to CrimeMapping in an unpredictable manner, so numbers may increase in the days after this report. This post does not reflect every call. See recent Berkeley crime blotters.
Years on, Alaysha Carradine killing is still haunting (03.31.16)
Defense says lack of evidence will cast doubt in double murder trial (03.29.16)
Prosecutor: Berkeley killing sparked ‘rampage of violence’ that left little girl dead (03.29.16)
BPD, city investigate possible pellet shooting of 5 animals (03.29.16)
DA will not file criminal charges in balcony collapse case (03.29.16)
Photos: Police take the win in Berkeley Twilite battle (03.29.16)
Suspected DUI motorist crashes into Berkeley marina (03.27.16)
Twilite Basketball helps Berkeley youth, police connect (03.25.16)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, March 3-9 (03.25.16)
Police: Berkeley double stabbing was unprovoked (03.24.15)
Man charged in Berkeley shooting faces 3rd strike (03.24.15)
Man wanted after sexual assault arrested in Tennessee (03.22.16)
Man arrested after double stabbing in West Berkeley (03.22.16)
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