CHP makes arrest in hit-and-run death of UC Berkeley’s chief counsel

Christopher Patti. Photo: UC Berkeley Public Affairs

The California Highway Patrol arrested a 28-year-old man on Tuesday in connection with the hit-and-run death of UC Berkeley’s top attorney on Aug. 27.

Jonathan Robert Murray Ritter was arrested in Monte Rio about 4:32 p.m., according to CHP Officer Steve Fricke. Ritter is being held on a $1 million bail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, hit-and-run causing death and misdemeanor driving without a license, according to a spokesman at the Sonoma County jail.

Ritter is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

UC Berkeley will hold a memorial service Friday for Patti at the base of the Campanile from 5 to 5:30 p.m., according to UCB News. Chancellor Carol Christ will speak and Jeff Davis, the university carillonist, will ring the Campanile’s bells in a musical tribute.


Patti, 59, had been riding his bike on State Route 116 near Guerneville on Sunday and had stopped to look at his phone around 8:45 a.m, according to the CHP. He was standing about 20 feet from the edge of the road when a black BMW careened out of control around the corner, slid onto the shoulder and hit Patti, who was thrown 100 feet away. The car then sped off. Patti was pronounced dead at the scene, according to CHP.

Patti is survived by his wife, Jocelyn Larkin, and two sons Vincent and Gabriel.