Berkeley parolee arrested in rape of teen girl, and sexual assault at Cal dorm

Sex crimes detectives visited a home on Allston Way on Thursday in connection with their investigation into the rape of a high school student in April. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Police arrested a 27-year-old parolee from Berkeley on Thursday afternoon in connection with the rape, at gunpoint, of a high school girl on Addison Street in April, authorities report. Police said Friday that the man also was responsible for a recent sex crime at UC Berkeley that had previously been described as an attempted armed robbery.

Alphonzo McInnis was taken into custody Thursday at 2:15 p.m. in the 1900 block of University Avenue, according to county jail records online and police. He was arrested on suspicion of rape, forced oral copulation and sexual penetration, as well as kidnap to commit rape and the use of a firearm. He is also being held in connection with the second case, outside a UC Berkeley dorm, on suspicion of kidnap to commit rape and the use of a firearm during a felony, as well as the parole violation.

Police said McInnis grabbed the high school girl April 19 when she was walking in the 1500 block of Addison Street, near Sacramento Street. Police said he pressed a gun into her side, covered her mouth, and told her not to scream. Then he dragged her into the side yard of a nearby home and raped her, authorities said.

McInnis was sent to prison in 2015 after he was convicted of robbing six gas stations on University Avenue in Berkeley. According to his Facebook page, he went to Berkeley High School. He was sentenced to three years in prison in connection with the robbery case, according to Alameda County court records online. Prior to the robberies, McInnis had been on probation for a 2010 conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse, according to court records.


In a statement Friday, BPD said some information about the UC Berkeley dorm incident had already been shared by UCPD, which published new video of part of that attack earlier this week. BPD released more details Friday about that case. The incident took place April 28 at 4:30 a.m. when a man attacked a Cal Berkeley student near College Avenue and Channing Way: “The suspect chased the victim westbound on Channing Way to the south side of the Unit 1 dormitory building where he produced a handgun, and attempted to push her off the street and in between the buildings. The victim escaped his grasp and continued running with the suspect in pursuit. A second struggle ensued at the entrance to Slottman Hall. The victim managed to escape him as she got through the front door.” (The video, which viewers may find disturbing, was released by UCPD on Wednesday.)

Parents in the community have been asking Berkeleyside for an update in the April rape case, saying they have been afraid for their children’s safety. They asked whether a rape kit had been done to collect DNA evidence, and what police had done to catch the culprit.

“I haven’t seen any news about the investigation of the rape of a minor,” one mother wrote. “We are keeping our kids inside and not allowing them to walk alone. Waiting and hoping to hear news of an arrest or at least a suspect. Is there any news to share?”

Her concerns were echoed by several other parents who wrote to Berkeleyside hoping for an update in recent weeks.

“I’m a concerned resident and a parent of a 15-­year-­old daughter who attends Berkeley high School,” another mother wrote. “My daughter walks to school daily on Allston Way to Berkeley High. We’re very upset and worried about the rape that occurred on Addison Street near Sacramento Street.”

BPD told that parent, after she emailed the department with her concerns, that it had been “vigilantly working the investigation from every possible angle. We have also had additional officers in the areas where children typically commute to school to ensure their safety.”

Berkeley Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel told Berkeleyside the ongoing investigation had limited what he could share. He said he could not discuss whether a rape kit had been collected or how long results generally take. And he did not bring up the subject of extra patrols in the area. But he said he hoped this week’s arrest would be welcome news.


“These crimes were heinous and were traumatic for our victims and our community,” Frankel said. “We hope the arrest helps with closure for all.”

Police have declined to release the girl’s age or where she attends school in the interest of her privacy. BUSD spokesman Charles Burress said that is the school district’s position as well.

“No matter where this student attends school, she and her family are part of the community, and we are concerned and committed to doing whatever we can to help all our students feel safe,” he told Berkeleyside by email this week.

The rape happened between 11 and 11:30 a.m. a half-mile from Berkeley High School. BUSD officials — the superintendent and BHS principal — sent messages to the community in the days after the attack.

“The description of the assault is deeply disturbing, and we hope the perpetrator is caught soon,” wrote BHS Principal Erin Schweng. “Meanwhile, we are thinking of the young victim and her family, and we are focused on making sure that all of our students are safe here on campus. While BPD has added extra patrols around the city during school hours, I still want to caution all students to avoid walking alone if at all possible, and to be extra aware of your surroundings at all times.”

In his message, Superintendent Donald Evans urged parents to “Please talk to your students about being aware of their surroundings and encourage them to report any suspicious or harmful behavior to a trusted adult immediately, just as this student did.”


Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín wrote online that the “heinous rape” was a reminder of the importance of a city proposal to create a surveillance camera database to help police investigate crime.

“I was saddened and shocked by news that a … girl was raped by an unknown assailant in one of our residential neighborhoods. My heart goes out to the young woman and her family,” he wrote. “This crime is a reminder that we must do everything we can to keep our children and our community safe.”

Police have asked repeatedly for community members with surveillance cameras in the area of the Addison Street attack to review their footage and share it with law enforcement to aid in the investigation. They renewed that request Friday and said the BPD sex crimes detail is available at 510-981-5716 for those who would like to share footage or information.

Frankel said he could not share the details of Thursday’s arrest but did confirm that police activity witnessed by Berkeleyside — after a reader sent in an alert — had related to the case.

Thursday, a Berkeleyside reader described, via Twitter, “Tons of armed police going what looks like door to door on Allston between California and Spaulding, any idea what’s up?” Berkeleyside went to the 1500 block of Allston and found sex crimes investigators, some wearing white gloves, coming out of a home in the block as other officers spoke with residents.

Sgt. Frankel confirmed that officers had served a search warrant in the 1500 block of Allston Way in connection with the case at an address McInnis had on record. But when investigators got into the home, Frankel said, it became clear McInnis hadn’t lived there in quite a while.

According to jail records online, McInnis is being held without bail at Berkeley Jail. He is set for arraignment Monday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.