Author Archives: Emilie Raguso

Crime

Update: UC Berkeley student exonerated of rape charge

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The case against a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student charged earlier this month with rape has been dismissed, authorities said Friday afternoon, and he has been found “factually innocent” of that allegation.

Eugene Quillin was scheduled to enter a plea in the case Friday morning.

But Teresa Drenick, Alameda County district attorney’s office spokeswoman, said Friday afternoon that the case against Quillin was instead dismissed.

Quillin’s attorney, Ted W. Cassman, said shortly before 4 p.m. via email that the case was dismissed for insufficient … Continue reading »

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Crime

5 report frat house drugging, sex assaults in Berkeley

The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity near UC Berkeley. Photo: Google maps
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Update, 2 p.m. The University of California Police Department has released a new alert saying that one member of a fraternity says he was sexually assaulted by another, and that there may be other victims.

“A leadership member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity contacted a UC Berkeley Campus Security Authority. The leadership member reported that he was contacted by a member of the Berkeley Theta Delta Chi fraternity,” UCPD wrote. “The member reported that he had been sexually assaulted by another current UC Berkeley Theta Delta Chi fraternity member. The reporting member stated that there may be other victims.”

UCPD turned this information over to the Berkeley Police Department, which said no activity of this nature has been reported to it.

No additional information was released.

Original story, 1 p.m. Police say five people came forward to report having been sexually assaulted after being given “roofies” — also known as “the date rape drug” — at a fraternity near the UC Berkeley campus over the weekend.

That report comes on the heels of a recent weekend where three women said they were sexually assaulted in fraternities or near the Cal campus. One man was charged with rape in connection with one of those cases, but he was exonerated of the charge against him Friday morning.

The University of California Police Department released a brief statement Thursday evening about the most recent reports.

According to that statement, five people said they were given “roofies” before being sexually assaulted at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity in the 2300 block of Piedmont Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police find bike stash, but still seeking victims

Recovered bikes. Photo: BPD
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Earlier this month, a local resident tried to track down his stolen bike in response to a suspicious Craigslist ad, and led police to a home in Berkeley where at least five bikes — presumed stolen — were recovered, along with many bike parts.

Police made one arrest but are still looking for the owners of those bikes to come forward to claim their property, authorities said this week.

Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said one victim used Craigslist to arrange a “buy” to get back what he believed to be his bike. That victim told police about his plans, and officers got a warrant for a home in the 900 block of Allston Way that was linked to the seller.

Officers went to the home with the warrant and recovered at least five bikes, White said.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley 2014 election hub: What you need to know

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Absentee ballots have arrived and the November 2014 election is just around the corner. Berkeleyside has been covering the issues for months, and we’ve collected some of our best Berkeley election coverage in a single post to help readers get informed before they cast their votes.

Browse Berkeleyside’s 2014 election coverage.

Berkeley has several council seats up for grabs, and seven ballot measures under consideration. If you haven’t yet plugged into the local issues on the table, here’s your chance. On election night, we’ll cover the results live, and we plan to keep this hub updated as Nov. 4 approaches. If you think it’s a good resource, we hope you’ll share it with your friends and neighbors.

What else do you need to know?

The deadline to register to vote in Alameda County for the Nov. 4 election is Monday, Oct. 20. Registration can be completed online. Berkeleyside does not endorse candidates or measures.

In addition to our news coverage, a lively debate has been going on in our opinion pages. Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles of 500-800 words. We ask for first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related and local authors are preferred. Please email submissions to the editors. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Oct. 2-8

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Oct. 2-8, there were reports of 25 burglaries33 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles and eight stolen vehicles, according to CrimeMapping.comSeven robberies27 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries and two sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included a weapon-related call, a sex crime and a reports of vandalism. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; please let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous.

Thursday, Oct. 2

There was a robbery at 7:05 a.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.

There were three home burglaries: at 10:40 a.m. in the 1800 block of Virginia Street; at noon in the 2100 block of Kittredge Street; and at 1 p.m. in the 1300 block of Virginia. Police arrested Ryan Carrihill, 41, in connection with the incident in the 1300 block of Virginia, on suspicion of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon.

Police responded to three disturbance calls: at 11 a.m. at Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue; at 9:22 p.m. at Ninth Street and University Avenue; and at 11:20 p.m. in the 2300 block of Haste Street.

A vehicle was stolen at 7:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Berkeley Way.

A man told the BART Police that his $450 green Windsor Tourist bicycle was stolen while it was cable locked to the bike racks at the Ashby BART station between 5:15 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Police

Berkeley police rule cyclist responsible for fatal crash

Kurt Wehner. Photo via Facebook
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Authorities have found a 62-year-old Berkeley cyclist at fault for the crash with a vehicle that ultimately took his life about three weeks ago.

In response to repeated inquiries from Berkeleyside, police said Tuesday that Kurt Wehner rode through a stop sign and crashed into a 2008 Volkswagen in a North Berkeley intersection Sept. 21 shortly after 8 a.m. at Spruce and Eunice streets.

Wehner, a longtime Berkeley resident, died the following day at Highland Hospital.

Berkeley police investigators said Tuesday in a prepared statement that Wehner had been riding his mountain-style bike south on Spruce toward Eunice, where there was a posted stop sign for southbound traffic.

“Just prior the bicyclist was passing vehicles on the wrong side of the roadway at an unsafe speed in violation of the posted 25 mph speed limit,” police wrote.

The Volkswagen — driven by a 63-year-old Berkeley resident whose name has not been released — had stopped on Eunice facing east. The driver had proceeded into the intersection when, police say, Wehner crashed into the vehicle.  … Continue reading »

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After community tip, police arrest SF woman tied to violent Berkeley assault

Alleged assailant. Image still: Berkeley Police
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A community member who saw a video of a violent, unprovoked assault in Berkeley in September helped tip off authorities to the assailant’s identity, which led to her arrest, police said Tuesday.

Last week, the Berkeley Police Department asked for the community’s help to find a woman with an overloaded shopping cart who had — for no apparent reason — forcefully shoved an 85-year-old pedestrian to the ground as she walked in downtown Berkeley with a relative on Sept. 23. The woman suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital as a result.

As part of its outreach, the department released a security video showing the assault. (A Berkeleyside post of that video has been viewed nearly 4,500 times on YouTube. Other media sources also made it available.)  … Continue reading »

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Police search for 2 after dorm room robbery in Berkeley

Clark Kerr Campus. Photo: UC Berkeley
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Police are looking for two young men they say convinced a UC Berkeley student in his dorm room to make a call for them, then stole his phone while threatening to have a gun.

According to police, the robbery took place early Sunday, just before 12:20 a.m.

Police said the student was in his room at the Clark Kerr Campus of UC Berkeley, at 2601 Warring St., when he heard loud knocking on the door of his suite.

He opened the door and found two young strangers outside, the University of California Police Department wrote in a prepared statement. They asked the student to make a call for them on his phone. … Continue reading »

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New ‘shaved snow’ shop aims for Telegraph Avenue

Vegan-friendly shaved snow is coming to Berkeley. Photo: Vampire Penguin
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A successful dessert shop called Vampire Penguin has won approval to open on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, bringing a Taiwanese treat called shaved snow to the avenue.

The Sacramento-based dessert spot has proven popular in that city, recently winning what one news source described as the “best mouthgasm” in town due to its lightness and silky texture. Now, Anthony Bai has received permission, from Berkeley’s zoning board, to open a new location at 2575 Telegraph in a 2,500-square-foot space by Buffalo Exchange that formerly was a party supply store called Let’s Party.

The frozen dessert shop specializes in gourmet shaved “snow” with a variety of flavors and toppings. Blocks of mostly non-dairy “snow” — made primarily of fruit concentrate, sugar and non-dairy cream — are shaved off and formed into a flavorful mound, which can be topped with fruit, oats, taro, condensed milk, candies and other treats.

Manager Bai says he hopes to open “as soon as possible” and is aiming for December. The exact timing will depend on how quickly construction can take place. Owners needs to build a kitchen and install a variety of freezing equipment, according to their permit application. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, 9/25-10/1

Selected calls for service to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. (Scroll down for maps of robberies, burglaries, auto burglaries and auto thefts.) Click the map for the full list. See the map key here.
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This is a partial list of recent crime in Berkeley, compiled by Berkeleyside, and based on reports to the Berkeley Police Department unless otherwise noted. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

From Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, there were reports of 16 burglaries26 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles and 10 stolen vehicles, according to CrimeMapping.comFive robberies16 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries and seven sexual assaults were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included two burglaries, a sex crime and five reports of vandalism. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links above for the latest numbers.

We always appreciate photographs and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; please let us know up front if you prefer to be anonymous.

Thursday, Sept. 25

There were two home burglaries, at 7 a.m. in the 1000 block of Channing Way, and at 4:35 p.m. in the 1200 block of Bancroft Way.

A robbery took place at 7:13 a.m. at Parker Street and Benvenue Avenue.

A business was burglarized at 4:43 p.m. in the 1800 block of Fourth Street. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Emeryville woman dies weeks after Berkeley stabbing

Nancy Jo McClellan. Photo: Courtesy of McClellan family and friends/BPD
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A 72-year-old woman who was stabbed in South Berkeley in September has died after nearly three weeks in medical care, according to authorities.

Nancy Jo McClellan of Emeryville died Wednesday at approximately 2:30 a.m., said Berkeley Police Capt. Andrew Greenwood.

McClellan remained in the ICU following the stabbing, and died in a Berkeley care facility where she had been transferred Tuesday, according to police. Over the weekend, her family had decided to take her off life support when she failed to recover from the attack, according to community members familiar with the case.

Police will now seek murder charges against Kamau Berlin, the 18-year-old Richmond man authorities say was responsible for McClellan’s death. It is the second homicide in Berkeley this year.

“Our investigators are in touch with the district attorney’s office,” Greenwood said Wednesday morning. “We will do what we need to do to get more charges.”

Berlin was arrested by police the day of the stabbing, Sept. 19. He has been charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with attempted murder. He is a Berkeley Unified School District student, according to BUSD spokesman Mark Coplan.

Police say Berlin tried to steal McClellan’s Honda, then stabbed her twice in the throat when the car wouldn’t start. The assault took place at approximately 4:30 p.m. at Otis and Russell streets, not far from the Ashby BART station.

McClellan was head gardener at the Berkeley Zen Center at 1929 Russell St., adjacent to where she was attacked. Sojun Mel Weitsman, who runs the center, said there had been a wedding and reception that day, which McClellan had attended. She was on her way home when the confrontation took place. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police: Drug was used in Cal fraternity rape case

Delta Upsilon at UC Berkeley. Image: Google maps
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Update, Oct. 17: The case against Eugene Quillin has been dismissed, and he has been exonerated and found factually innocent.

Original story, Oct. 7: A 20-year-old UC Berkeley student has been charged with raping a woman at a Cal fraternity in late September who also had been drugged, according to authorities.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Eugene Franklin Quillin this week with rape by use of drugs, in that he “did unlawfully have and accomplish an act of sexual intercourse with a person … where said person was prevented by resisting by an intoxicating, anesthetic, and controlled substance.” … Continue reading »

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Government

The lowdown: Berkeley council on racial discrimination, Parker Place, curbside EV charging grant, more

Parker Place permits: On council's action calendar for Tuesday night. Here, the view of what's proposed at 2600 Shattuck Ave. Image: LPAS Architecture + Design
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The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday, with a special session on race-related workforce issues at 5:30 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.

The special session

Council will hear from a consultant hired last year to look at complaints regarding city practices related to race. A consultant who interviewed city employees about 20 complaints made recommendations for improvement earlier this year. Tuesday evening will be the first chance for council to have an in-depth public discussion about those findings. Council also will hear what the police department is doing to limit the possibility of racial profiling, and about additional resources the city has put into mental health outreach services. Read the report.

The action calendar

PARKER PLACE PLANS STALLED BY APPEAL The mixed-use housing and commercial complex planned for Shattuck Avenue and Parker Street — called Parker Place — is on council’s agenda Tuesday due to an appeal of a recent, unanimous zoning board decision to adjust the project’s permits. Staff says council should uphold the zoning board’s decision. Parker Place was first approved by council in January 2012, and sought to make some adjustments in August of this year after being acquired by Lennar Multifamily Communities and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management. Berkeleyside will have the full story later this week.Continue reading »

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