Author Archives: Emilie Raguso

Crime

Berkeley homicide victim ID’d as Alex Goodwin Jr., 22

Alex Goodwin. Photo: Alex Goodwin/Twitter
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Twenty-two-year-old Alex Goodwin Jr. has been identified as the person who was fatally shot by San Pablo Park late Thursday night.

Authorities have not released the name, but friends have identified Goodwin online and the family has been informed, according to those familiar with the neighborhood.

Thursday night’s shooting became the first homicide of the year after Goodwin was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital early Friday morning.

Multiple callers reported the sound of gunfire to police just before midnight. Numerous callers said they heard three shots around Mabel and Burnett streets.

Berkeleyside broke the news of the shooting at about 2:20 a.m.

Goodwin lived in the 2900 block of Mabel according to records online. A woman called police around the time of the gunshots to report that her brother had left their home but not come back in, according to scanner recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside.

BPD has not confirmed whether that call referred to Goodwin.

The young man attended Berkeley Arts Magnet, King Middle School and Berkeley High.

In a chilling post on Twitter less than a week ago, Goodwin wrote, “When I die, turnup for me… On Mabel in front of Grams house like I would want you to.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Update: Man dead after shooting near San Pablo Park

Image: Google Maps
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Berkeley had its first homicide of the year early Friday after a man in his 20s was shot and critically injured near San Pablo Park.

Police called to southwest Berkeley just before midnight following reports of possible gunfire found a young man down in the street who was breathing but unresponsive.

Berkeley Police Sgt. Andrew Frankel said shortly before 4:30 a.m. that the man was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

“We don’t believe that there is an immediate threat to the community as the shooting does not appear to have been random,” he said. “The suspects are still at large. Homicide detectives are on scene and working the investigation.”

Frankel confirmed that dispatchers got numerous calls just before midnight Friday about loud reports — possible gunfire — near Mabel and Burnett streets. Several callers reported hearing what sounded like three gunshots. The location is south of San Pablo Park and north of Ashby Avenue. It’s one block east of San Pablo Avenue.

One woman also called police to say her brother had stepped out of their home in the 2900 block of Mabel and had not come back inside, according to unconfirmed scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside.

Officers who responded to the scene found a 22-year-old man down in the street at Burnett and Mabel. Initially it was unclear whether he had been hit by gunfire. … Continue reading »

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Mother of homicide victim: ‘That bullet was not meant for my daughter’

Marne'e Causey (right) and her mom, Kenitra Love. Photo: Causey family
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The mother of a 23-year-old woman killed last week by gunfire spoke out Wednesday about her daughter’s innocence, her hopes for a music career and her devotion to her family.

“Marne’e did not like violence, she did not like arguing,” said Kenitra Love, mother of Berkeley High graduate Marne’e Maxine Karen Causey. “She wouldn’t argue with anybody. She would walk away first.”

The day Causey was killed, Aug. 9, she had just dropped off several of her younger siblings at her mother’s home. She’d watched them for a couple days to give her mom a break after the family had met up for a birthday party. She’d also dropped off her father at a job interview, and had planned to pick him up later. In the meantime, she was going to meet up with her brother, Bones, so they could go to the music studio together.

They made a stop at a cousin’s home in the 7400 block of Fresno Street in East Oakland. Police say someone opened fire on the home at 3:10 p.m. Causey was hit. She collapsed on the porch and was later pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made.

“My daughter was not targeted,” said Love, who said Causey had no affiliation or involvement with gangs. “That bullet was not meant for my daughter.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley crime log: Bullets shot from vehicle, overturned car, lots of arrests, gunfire or fireworks?

A man on Telegraph Avenue is treated Aug. 5 after reportedly being stopped by UCPD for jaywalking and then resisting arrest in some way. Photographer Ted Friedman spoke to the witness, and shared this photograph by Kenneth Lipman. Friedman said the man ultimately was taken from the scene by ambulance. No further information was available.
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This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From Aug. 5-11, there were reports of five robberies14 burglaries18 assaults or batteriestwo weapon-involved calls and two sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 12 stolen vehiclesseven disturbances and 25 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Three attempted robberies and an attempted kidnapping, among other crimes, were reported on CrimeMapping to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the Aug. 5-11 round-up below.

Recent public safety news

GUNFIRE FROM A VEHICLE Someone in a vehicle heading west on Ashby Avenue at 9:40 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, “fired several shots in the area of Ashby and Dohr. Nobody was hit,” according to police. The car was gone by the time officers arrived, and no arrests have been made. Casings were located, however.

FIREWORKS OR GUNFIRE? Later on Sunday, a number of questions came in from people asking about possible shots fired in southwest Berkeley. An officer who responded found fireworks that were still hot to the touch, and a smell of smoke in the air, police said. One reader told Berkeleyside the fireworks were set off near Oregon and California streets: “Dispatch said they got 50 911 calls.” A photograph of a fireworks container found in the area appears at the top of this story.

OVERTURNED VEHICLE ON GILMAN Many readers wondered about an overturned car on Gilman Street at Peralta on Monday and asked about what had taken place. Police said one person was taken to the hospital after the crash in the 1200 block of Gilman (between Peralta and Ordway). Both drivers stayed at the scene and cooperated with BPD, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, police spokesman. The crash happened at about 7:45 a.m. Gilman was closed during the investigation. One reader told us, “The two women in the car that flipped were shaken up but did not leave with the paramedics/ambulance, the driver in the other car did leave in an ambulance but was described as not seriously hurt by a bystander.”  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man charged after aluminum bat attack in Berkeley

Zuber Awad. Photo: ACSO
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A homeless man charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon after an attack with an aluminum baseball bat in West Berkeley in July is scheduled to appear in court to be sentenced Wednesday.

According to court papers, Zuber Awad, 26, was with another man’s girlfriend at University Avenue and West Frontage Road on July 1 when angry words were exchanged.

Police say Awad then hit the other man with an aluminum baseball bat causing an injury that required eight stitches.

According to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, Awad was identified to police as a homeless camper in the area who was known to wear a diving weight around his neck.

Police arrested Awad the day after the baseball bat assault at about 10:10 a.m. at Cedar and Second streets in West Berkeley. According to police, he was on probation at the time of his arrest for battery causing serious bodily injury.

According to police, Awad said he did hit the man but that he did so with his closed fist, not the bat. … Continue reading »

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On the road with the CHP: Your questions answered

Oakland CHP spokesman Officer Sean Wilkenfeld invited Berkeleyside on a ride-along last week. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Last week, Berkeleyside spent a couple hours with the California Highway Patrol to get a sense of what a normal day on I-80 is like for these officers. There are about 100 officers with the Oakland CHP branch, and they handle the freeways from the southern Oakland border up through Berkeley until Richmond.

Carpool violations, cellphone violations, moving violations: most of the stops fell into these categories. During the ride-along we asked readers to send in questions over social media and Officer Sean Wilkenfeld, spokesman for the local office, provided answers. What does the CHP do about carpool violators, and what can other motorists do? What are the rules about lane splitting and what’s the weirdest call he’s been on? What are the penalties for carpool violation tickets, and what kind of excuses do people give when they get pulled over?

The day ended with a glimpse into a long tunnel that runs beneath the freeway, and a look at vehicles involved in fatal crashes. The Storify post that follows sums it up. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Another Berkeley High alum fatally shot Sunday

A tribute to Craig Cooks-Fletcher: "rip to one of the sweetest souls. Your presence, your heart, & that LAUGH will be missed."  Photo: carena torrissa
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Update, Aug. 20: Scroll down to the bottom of this story to see the memorial flyer created to honor Craig Fletcher-Cooks. Memorial information is included.

Update, Aug. 16: A fundraiser has been launched to help pay for funeral costs for Craig Fletcher-Cooks. A memorial is also being planned. Learn more on the GoFundMe page.

A fundraiser to help the family of Terrence McCrary Jr. has also been set up. Learn more.

Original story, Aug. 15: Another young man who attended Berkeley High School has been identified as the second person fatally shot outside a birthday party in downtown Oakland early Sunday morning.

Friends and others who knew him have identified the young man as 20-year-old Craig Fletcher-Cooks. He and 22-year-old Terrence McCrary Jr. were fatally shot shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday after disputes reportedly broke out between groups at the Prime Development art gallery at 322 15th St.

Police have said a third man with gunshot wounds was taken to the hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »

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Police action in Berkeley: Purse snatch, disturbance

Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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A disturbance that led to an arrest and a purse snatch on Allston Way had police officers out and about in downtown Berkeley on Friday afternoon, authorities report.

Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver, watch commander, provided updates at about 2:10 p.m. about both incidents.

Around 1 p.m., dispatchers got a call about a man standing by a car yelling at a woman near University and Shattuck avenues.

When police arrived, the man suddenly drove off, Rateaver said. … Continue reading »

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Council cancels special meeting on minimum wage

Berkeley City Council, Jan. 27, 2015. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Update 6:15 p.m. Only three council members were present for the special meeting: Kriss Worthington, Jesse Arreguín and Darryl Moore. After brief thanks from the officials to city staff for preparing the meeting, it was canceled for lack of a quorum.

Original story: Two votes scheduled for Thursday night’s special Berkeley City Council meeting, which was just announced Wednesday, may not actually take place due to “insufficient quorum,” according to various reports being circulated online.

The focus of the meeting was supposed to be a compromise related to two competing minimum wage proposals that are slated to be on the November ballot.

A spokesman for the city, Timothy Burroughs, said as of 5:16 p.m. that “There is still a Council meeting scheduled for 6pm.”

City Clerk Mark Numainville confirmed at 5:24 p.m.: “We will not know if the meeting is cancelled for lack of quorum until after the noticed start time.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Crime log: Youth attempt robbery of mom and child on playground, armed Southside robbery Thursday, more

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. (Click "show crime report" to see 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. Share photos, videos and tips by emailing crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook and TwitterDon’t assume someone else will alert us. We rely on readers to help us stay informed.

SNAPSHOT From July 29 to Aug. 4, there were reports of 11 robberies12 burglaries12 assaults or batteriesone weapon-involved call and no reported sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 13 stolen vehicles15 disturbances and 18 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Two sex crimes, an assault and two burglaries, among other crimes, were reported to the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent. Find the July 29 to Aug. 4 round-up below.

Recent public safety news

ARMED ROBBERY EARLY THURSDAY A man walking south on Ellsworth Street near Parker Street around midnight, Aug. 11, noticed a sedan getting close to him heading westbound on Parker, said BPD spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel in response to a Berkeleyside query. The vehicle stopped and a man got out from the passenger side, and pointed a black handgun at the man, who turned over his cellphone. The suspect, described as a black man, 20-30 years old wearing a dark blue hoodie, got back into the car, which left the area westbound on Parker. … Continue reading »

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Special Berkeley council meeting announced to vote on compromise minimum wage

Old City Hall. Photo by Melati Citrawireja
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A special meeting of the City Council has been announced for Thursday night to vote on a compromise minimum wage proposal for Berkeley.

Up to this point, voters were set to consider two competing minimum wage proposals this fall, one sponsored by labor advocates, and another supported by a Berkeley City Council majority. Both were set to appear on the November ballot.

According to a statement released shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, “Working collaboratively, an agreement that avoids dueling ballot measures on the minimum wage in Berkeley has been reached.”

Workers’ rights attorney and EBMUD Director Andy Katz, who sent out the statement and helped facilitate the compromise, said the Service Employees International Union, Local 1021, and Berkeley Councilman Laurie Capitelli had reached that agreement together.

Read past Berkeleyside coverage of the minimum wage.

A vote on the new language is expected to come Thursday, Aug. 11, at a 6 p.m. meeting of the City Council. If all goes according to plan, that will mean Berkeley will have new minimum wage language on the books after the vote takes place. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police warn Pokemon Go players after recent robberies

Pokemon Go players at Civic Center Park in July. Photo: Andy Stevko
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The Berkeley Police Department is warning players of the wildly popular Pokemon Go game to take some basic safety measures after at least two robberies and one attempt in the city in less than a month.

The free mobile app was released in early July and allows cell phone users to “hunt” for Pokemon species in real-world locations.

Police have said part of the problem is due to people visiting areas because of the game that they may be unfamiliar with, or would not otherwise have gone to.

“In the last month there have been two completed and one attempted pedestrian robberies where the victims were all distracted by the game. One robbery resulted in the arrest of two adults,” said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, BPD spokesman, in a prepared statement.

BPD described the “growing crime trend” related to the smartphone game and has asked players to keep their phones in their pockets until they reach their destinations, and play the game with friends — particularly at night — rather than alone.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

CHP chase through Berkeley ends with vehicle on fire

An early morning CHP pursuit into Berkeley ended in arrest Wednesday. Photo: CHP Oakland
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California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Berkeley man early Wednesday morning after chasing him for more than an hour through two counties from I-880 to the Caldecott Tunnel.

Oakland CHP spokesman Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said the man refused to get out of his vehicle even after it caught on fire. Police ultimately used a K-9 [police dog], which bit the man, to get him out of the vehicle.

Police identified the man as 28-year-old Abdul Henan Zahid and arrested him on suspicion of evading police and driving under the influence.

The pursuit began before 3:25 a.m. Wednesday after the Menlo Park Police Department tried to stop Zahid, according to the CHP. Menlo Park police and the Hayward CHP used a spike strip to flatten some of the tires on Zahid’s black Toyota Avalon, but it didn’t stop him.  … Continue reading »

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