Car window smashed, passer-by attacked, woman detained in downtown Berkeley

Shattuck and Allston. Image: Google Maps

A woman has been arrested after authorities say she attacked a woman in downtown Berkeley with “windshield wiper parts” Saturday afternoon, sending the victim to the hospital.

The assailant — identified as 28-year-old Dawn Carraway — reportedly also shattered the window of a passing vehicle, and had been screaming inside City Hall minutes before the attack, authorities said.

Police initially got a report at 2:45 p.m. Saturday about a woman who was “yelling and screaming” in the bathroom in the basement of City Hall, at 2180 Milvia St., according to scanner recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside. But the woman, who was wearing all white, was gone when police arrived a few minutes later. She reportedly had walked east on Allston Way toward downtown.

Lt. Joe Okies, of the Berkeley Police Department, said police then got reports of a battery in the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue, at Allston. Officers who responded found a Berkeley woman who had been struck with pieces of a windshield wiper, Okies said. The woman, whose age was not immediately available, was taken to a local hospital for treatment. There are no indications the women knew each other prior to the attack.


Okies said police determined, through their investigation, that Carraway “had pulled windshield wiper parts off of a nearby vehicle and struck a victim with them.”

Okies confirmed BPD also received reports that Carraway may have smashed a car window, shattering it, during the disturbance. According to unconfirmed scanner reports, the woman “shattered a car window of somebody trying to drive through the area.”

The battery incident involved a separate victim, police said.

Authorities detained Carraway and she was taken to a medical facility for evaluation. She has been arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vehicle tampering and probation violation, Okies said.

Carraway’s family told Berkeleyside on Monday that they had “been diligently searching for her whereabouts.” The relative said Carraway is mentally ill and has been arrested multiple times: “Dawn needs care and attention,” the relative said.

Berkeleyside last reported that Carraway had been arrested in September 2016. At that time, she was arrested on suspicion of causing great bodily injury to an elder or dependent adult, and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Prior cases listed in court records online related to multiple arson arrests, and numerous assault or battery incidents.

This story was updated after publication when additional information was provided.