Berkeley man arrested in sex grab case

Image: Google Maps

A man police say grabbed a teenager’s buttocks last week, then hit her in the face after she took his photograph, was arrested Thursday on a warrant, authorities report.

The Berkeley Police Department said, in a statement Thursday evening, that a 19-year-old woman was walking at about 7:10 p.m. May 29 at Bancroft Way and Fulton Street when a man grabbed her buttocks as she walked by.

“The victim turned around and chased the suspect and took his picture with her phone,” police said. “As the victim was taking the photo, the suspect hit the victim in the face in an attempt to either take it or knock it away.”

The woman then ran away and the man ran north on Fulton. She gave her photograph to police, who circulated it among officers and detectives, BPD said. An officer then recognized the man from prior contacts, and identified him as 33-year-old Clay Collier.


Tuesday, Berkeley PD Special Victim’s Unit detectives sought a warrant for Collier’s arrest. They served the search warrant at his home and found evidence indicating he was responsible for the attack last week, police said. Detectives arrested Collier and took him to Berkeley Jail.

Collier was arrested on suspicion of two misdemeanors, sexual battery and battery with serious bodily injury. Collier’s occupation in county records online is listed as “homeless.”

Collier is set for arraignment Friday morning at Wiley Manual Courthouse in Oakland. He is being held on $20,000 bail.

Police ask anyone with information about the case, “or who may have been victims themselves,” to call the Special Victim’s Unit at 510-981-5715.