Spate of crimes in People’s Park over 4 days sends 3 to the hospital

Paramedics tend to an assault victim in People’s Park on July 2, 2017. Photo: Ted Friedman

A recent spate of crimes, including two assaults, at People’s Park in Berkeley sent three people to the hospital.

Assault with a deadly weapon Thursday

On Thursday, June 29, at 3:51 p.m., a 23-year-old male student was struck in the head with an unidentified object after a fight involving several people broke out in the Southside park, according to UC Berkeley police.

UCPD said the victim was taken by ambulance to Alta Bates Hospital. The possible assailant was seen walking away with a crowbar but, although officers searched the area, they were unable to locate him.

He was described as a white man, between 30-40 years old, with a medium build, short dark hair and a goatee, wearing an “unkempt” baggy blue denim jacket and torn blue jeans or shorts.


Strong-arm robbery Friday

UCPD also reported that a strong-arm robbery took place in People’s Park on Friday, June 30, at about 6:40 p.m. A male youth was in the park with a group of other males. At some point, one of the members of the group demanded the boy’s hat and a second one demanded his cellphone. The boy complied and quickly left the park. He  was not injured. He saw several members of the group walking westbound on Haste Street. Officers searched the area but could not find them.

The three were described as: a Hispanic male, 16 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a thin muscular build, black hair in a ponytail with gold jewelry, wearing a black leather jacket and white shirt; a Hispanic male, 16, 5 feet 11, with a medium build, wearing a gray Gap sweatshirt; and a Hispanic male, 16 to 17, 5 feet 7, with a thin build, black hair with blonde tips, wearing a black shirt and backpack.

Assault with great bodily injury and robbery Sunday

On Sunday, July 2, at approximately 11 a.m. there were two assaults with great bodily injury and a robbery in People’s Park. A person was sitting in the park when a man struck him in the back of the head with a piece of wood, according to UCPD. He fell to the ground and the man took his backpack. A passenger in a nearby car saw the assault, got out of the car and tried to intervene. Another man threatened him, and someone hit him in the back of the head causing him to fall to the ground.

UCPD searched for the men but could not find them. Both victims suffered injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The assailants were described as: a black man in his 30s, 6 feet tall, 280 pounds, with a heavy build and dark complexion, wearing a black and red jacket; and a black man in his 30s, 6 feet tall, 280 pounds, with a heavy build and medium complexion, wearing a blue jacket.


Another incident in People’s Park in recent weeks caused consternation in the community when a 2-year-old at the playground June 5, under the supervision of his nanny, had to be taken to the hospital after a woman put what she called a “Tootsie Roll” in his mouth that was actually methamphetamine, police said.

Data provided to Berkeleyside by UC Berkeley Police last month show that, in the past three years through June 25, there were 99 arrests involving alcohol, drugs and/or violence in the park area.

UCPD asks people with information about any of the recent crimes to call the University of California Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau at 510-642-0472, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except holidays, and 510-642-6760 at all other times.