After water rescue in Berkeley, man taken for welfare check

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First responders in Berkeley rescued a man who jumped into the San Francisco Bay on Tuesday, then got him to the hospital for a welfare check and evaluation, authorities report.

Berkeley police were called Tuesday afternoon to Golden Gate Fields, north of the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex, for a disturbance, said Officer Jennifer Coats, a BPD spokeswoman. The call came in shortly after 1:35 p.m.

When officers arrived, a man was inside a vehicle, and a “family member concerned for his welfare was attempting to keep him [from] leaving,” Coats said.

According to unconfirmed scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, the man’s brother at one point was hanging onto the vehicle’s hood. An officer on scene reported over the radio that the driver was reversing, would not park, and refused to obey orders from police. The brother told police the man was dealing with mental issues, or possibly was high. Officers, with help from Albany police, blocked off parking lot access on the north and south sides to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.


Coats said that, “After speaking with a family member on scene it appeared the subject may need to be medically evaluated.” The man refused to get out of the vehicle, so Berkeley police negotiators were called in to talk with the man.

“While officers continued to speak with him, he exited his vehicle and jumped into the water,” Coats said, off Gilman Street where it runs along the bay. Officers continued with their negotiation attempts as two paramedics, who are trained rescue swimmers, got into the water and brought the man to the rock’s edge.

Several Berkeley police officers then went into the water to detain the man, Coats said. They brought him up to the ambulance “where he was then transported to the hospital for an eval,” Coats said.

No Berkeley police or firefighters were injured during the response.