Author Archives: Emilie Raguso

Police

Berkeley 911: Pedestrian taken to Highland after crash; callers report loud boom, too

Image: Google maps
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A pedestrian was taken to Highland Hospital after a vehicle struck her in Berkeley at about 7:45 p.m., according to a scanner audio recording reviewed by Berkeleyside.

Authorities received a call that a female, who was unconscious with a possible head and leg injury, had been hit by a vehicle at Ashby Avenue and Deakin Street at 7:44 p.m., as per the recording.

She was on the ground when first responders arrived. One of them reported on the scanner that she … Continue reading »

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53 trees come down on UC Berkeley land as grocery store, senior living project kicks off

Activists said they planned to meet in Albany on Thursday night to discuss next steps, after UC Berkeley cut down trees at University Village to prepare for a development project. Photo: Ed Fields
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UC Berkeley has begun the process of removing dozens of trees from its University Village property in Albany as work begins on a vacant lot slated for development that has been the site of numerous protests in recent years.

University spokeswoman Christine Shaff said Thursday afternoon by email that 53 trees will be removed from the property, on San Pablo Avenue near Monroe Street. Those trees will be replaced on a 2.5-to-1 basis, she added.

The project, which received formal approval last year from the Albany City Council “will bring senior housing and retail, including a grocery store, to serve nearby student-family housing as well as the Albany and west Berkeley communities,” Shaff said. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley council refers community policing package to city manager

Berkeley City Council, Jan. 27, 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to ask the city manager to assess a long list of issues related to community-police relations and bring back a report on potential associated costs and related efforts that are already underway.

The broad package includes everything from changes in the way police handle the handcuffing and searches of people they stop to more training for police in racial sensitivity.

No action will be taken until the city manager’s office brings back the report, which is expected to take a significant amount of time.

“This is an enormous to-do list for the staff,” said Councilman Laurie Capitelli. “This is not weeks and weeks of work. This is months and months and months of work.” … Continue reading »

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Update: Pedestrian hit by van in West Berkeley

Image: Google maps
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Update, Feb. 26, 1:30 p.m. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats released a bit more information by email about Thursday’s crash. She said, based on the preliminary investigation, the driver was northbound on San Pablo Avenue and, as he turned left onto Allston Way, struck the pedestrian in the crosswalk.

Coats said the pedestrian was still in the hospital when she last checked, but had been able to speak with traffic investigators.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the police, Coats said. Neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to be a factor in the crash.

Coats said the driver was a 26-year-old homeless man. The pedestrian was a 63-year-old Hayward man. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 12-18

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern.

From Feb. 12-18, there were reports of four robberies26 burglaries18 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and three sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 11 stolen vehicles19 disturbances and 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included five reports of vandalism. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

Thursday, Feb. 12

There were two home burglaries, at 1:30 a.m. in the 2700 block of Durant Avenue, and at 7:25 a.m. in the 800 block of Cedar Street.

There was a commercial burglary at 5 a.m. in the 2500 block of San Pablo Avenue.

A vehicle was stolen at 5 a.m. in the 3000 block of Mabel Street.

There was a robbery at 10:45 a.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue.

According to the BART police, a thief stole a $400 silver Dahon Mariner B7 foldable bicycle that had been secured with cable and U locks at the North Berkeley BART station between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

There were three disturbance calls: at 3:38 p.m. in the 2300 block of McKinley Avenue; at 5:15 p.m. in the 2300 block of Telegraph Avenue; and at 10:15 p.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue.

According to the BART police, a thief grabbed an iPhone 6 from a woman’s hand while she was on a Fremont-bound train approaching the Ashby BART station at about 6:15 p.m. The suspect fled the station in an unknown direction. … Continue reading »

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Government

The lowdown: Berkeley council on protests, drones, more

Council listened to hours of testimony about the Berkeley protests Tuesday night. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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At tonight’s Berkeley City Council meeting, officials are set to discuss how to proceed in terms of issues that arose during December’s protests in Berkeley; consider the approval of a two-year moratorium on drones; and adopt a new building energy-saving ordinance.

At 5:30 p.m., a council worksession will include a projection on the city’s future financial liabilities, as well as an overview of the 2015 mid-year budget report. From that report: “General Fund revenues are now projected to be up by $4.2 million.”

According to the budget report, several city departments spent less than expected in 2014, but “these savings will be absorbed by the Police Department which is projected to exceed its budget by $1.2 million.” Most of that money “is due to overtime expenditures exceeding the budget amount due to overtime and non-personnel costs related to the demonstrations that took place in December 2014.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

2 men charged after fatal Berkeley shooting

Kamahl Middleton
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Two men have been charged with murder after the shooting death in December of an El Sobrante man in a West Berkeley parking lot.

Carl Young Jr., 20, and 18-year-old Khalil Leroy Phanor, both of San Leandro, were charged Monday with murder, second-degree robbery and assault with a firearm by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

Berkeley police arrested Young on Thursday in Oakland, but Phanor is still at large. Officers arrested a 17-year-old male on Thursday as well, but his status was unavailable from authorities Monday because of privacy laws protecting minors.

The fatal shooting took place Dec. 29 on San Pablo Avenue, just north of University Avenue in West Berkeley, in a parking lot used by the 99 Cents Only store and other businesses, and adjacent to Everett & Jones Barbecue. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police find empty house after reported hostage call

Two police vehicles at Tacoma and  Colusa. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Update, 11:45 p.m. Berkeley Police Lt. Jennifer Louis confirmed that police have cleared a home in the 1800 block of Tacoma Avenue, and found no one inside despite an earlier report of a dangerous situation there.

Louis said a caller phoned dispatch at 9:26 p.m. to report a domestic violence incident at the North Berkeley home.

Officers responded and searched the home, but ultimately found it to be empty.

Louis said the caller provided “very limited information” while speaking with dispatch, and that there was a possibility the call had been a hoax.

Update, 11:30 p.m. Officers have swept the house and determined that the interior is clear. Perimeter units have been released from the area.

Original post, 10:52 p.m. Berkeley police officers are on the scene in the 1800 block of Tacoma Avenue, between Colusa Avenue and The Alameda, after a man called police and told them he had stabbed his girlfriend, had tied up her lover and was threatening to shoot him. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest 2 after December killing

Kamahl Middleton
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Police have arrested a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy in connection with the double shooting in Berkeley in December of an El Sobrante paraplegic who died at the scene, and a woman with him who survived the attack.

Police arrested Carl Young Jr. on Thursday in Oakland on suspicion of murder, second-degree robbery and assault with a firearm. He was arrested at 9 a.m. but was not booked into Berkeley Jail until just after midnight Friday, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. The teenager’s name was not released because he is a minor.

Young is being held without bail, and is scheduled for arraignment Monday at 2 p.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland in Department 112.

The fatal shooting took place Dec. 29 on San Pablo Avenue, just north of University Avenue in West Berkeley, in a parking lot used by the 99 Cents Only store and other businesses, and adjacent to Everett & Jones Barbecue.

The Berkeley Police Department’s homicide detail has been actively investigating the case since the night of Dec. 29, police said Friday.Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Feb. 5-11

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at tips@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch. 

From Feb. 5-11, there were reports of three robberies23 burglaries18 assaults or batteries, no weapon-involved calls and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 18 stolen vehicles23 disturbances and 25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included two assaults and a stolen vehicle. These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate.

Thursday, Feb. 5

There were two home burglaries, at 11 a.m. in the 1000 block of University Avenue, and at 9 p.m. in the 1300 block of Bonita Avenue.

There were two disturbances, at 1:20 p.m. at Telegraph Avenue and Oregon Street, and at 5:23 p.m. in the 2700 block of Hillegass Avenue.

Police arrested 31-year-old Quincy Mason on a warrant for vehicle theft and other violations. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Feb. 19. He is ineligible for bail because he was already under law enforcement supervision. Police also arrested Vanessa Rascon, 35, in connection with the same case. She remains in custody with a bail of $200,000 and was set for a pre-trial hearing Thursday, Feb. 19. She has been charged with vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, forgery and identity theft, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley student charged after alleged sexual assault on fraternity brother

Alpha Epsilon Pi at UC Berkeley. Image: Google maps
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A UC Berkeley student has been charged with two felony counts after police say he sexually assaulted a fraternity brother at their  home Friday.

Berkeley Police Officer Kenneth Tu wrote in court papers that 21-year-old Jordan Schaer reached into the pants of a sleeping fraternity brother and groped his penis, according to the alleged victim. Tu wrote that the student claimed Schaer also tried to put his finger into the young man’s anus.

Schaer’s attorney, Kellin Cooper, said Wednesday that he expects his client to be fully exonerated of the charges against him.

“Sexual assault allegations are often times made simply by a verbal statement without any corroboration,” Cooper said by email. “Unfortunately, all too often the allegations are quickly adopted by law enforcement and they become close minded to the truth and only view facts skewed toward the allegation rather than evaluate facts objectively. This is what happened here. I expect that after Mr. Schaer has his day in court the truth will come out and he will be exonerated of all charges.”

The incident is alleged to have taken place at 2430 Piedmont Ave., at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house where both young men lived. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police link Berkeley felon to 6 gas station robberies

Police linked a Berkeley man to six gas station robberies in 2013 and 2014. The Alameda County district attorney's office has charge him in connection with two. Image: Google maps
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A Berkeley man police tied to six gas station robberies along University Avenue in 2013 and 2014 is heading to prison after entering a guilty plea for one count of felony second-degree robbery.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office initially charged Alphonzo McInnis, 23, with three felony counts of second-degree robbery in connection with two incidents in October, and misdemeanor grand theft due to a stolen credit card that was used after one of them.

According to the district attorney’s office, McInnis pleaded guilty Jan. 28 to second-degree robbery, and will serve time in state prison as a result. McInnis attended Berkeley High School, according to his Facebook page.

In court papers, Berkeley Police Officer Mike Parsons wrote that he was convinced McInnis was the culprit in two robberies in Berkeley — on Oct. 3, at Chevron, and Oct. 29, at the Econo Gas station — despite the fact that he had covered his face during the incidents.  … Continue reading »

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Cluster of police arrest resistant homeless man (video)

Readers wondered about the arrest of a homeless man earlier this week in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Moby Theobald
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Several readers asked Berkeleyside to find out why it took seven officers to detain one man in downtown Berkeley earlier this week.

Wondered Stefanie Kalem: “Anybody know what just happened with seven cops and one very agitated man on the corner of Shattuck and Addison?”

The incident drew some attention because it took place in a highly trafficked area at a busy time of day, and involved quite a few officers and police vehicles. Video of the incident appears below.

The scuffle ultimately drew at least 10 officers to Shattuck Avenue and Addison Street on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at about 4:15 p.m. Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said police were initially called for a report of a man who was “ranting, and appeared extremely agitated.”

Officers tried to speak with the man, Coats said, but he “became agitated and took a fighting posture towards the officers.” Officers tried to detain him and he became “physically combative … and resisted their attempts to take him safely into custody.”

Kevin Kunze, who was at the scene, posted the following video on YouTube, asking “How many Berkeley cops does it take to arrest one homeless person?” He wrote to Berkeleyside on Twitter and wanted to know more. … Continue reading »

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