Category Archives: Crime

Activists, homeless demand end to campaign of ‘brutality’

Activists angered by a video that caught a Downtown Ambassador assaulting a homeless man hold a rally March 27 to protest the violence and proposed new laws regulating homeless behavior. Photo: Ted Friedman
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One day after a video that showed a Downtown Berkeley Association ambassador assaulting a homeless man went viral, a group of activists held an action to denounce what they consider an ongoing pattern of harassment against those living on the streets.

The group of about 20 protesters held a press conference Friday, March 27, near the offices of the association, the group that hires the private security detail* men and women who rove the downtown, clean the streets, and help keep sidewalks clear by interacting with the people who live outside. John Caner, the CEO of the DBA, announced Thursday that Jeff D. Bailey — the ambassador filmed hitting a homeless man, James Wilbur Cocklereese, in an alley behind CVS Pharmacy on Shattuck Avenue — had been fired. Caner also expressed shock and remorse over the incident, which resulted in charges against Cocklereese and a man who was with him. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, March 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 crime@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 March 12-18, there were reports of five robberies25 burglaries11 assaults or batteries, six weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also nine stolen vehicles13 disturbances and 33 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included one assault and two robberies. 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, March 12

There was a misdemeanor sexual assault reported at 7:14 a.m. in the 1000 block of Keeler Avenue.

Police arrested Tiffieny Dean, 40, on a warrant related to a felony grand theft case from earlier this year. She is no longer in custody, but has been charged and is scheduled for a further pre-trial hearing April 9 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

There were three home burglaries: at 7:45 a.m. in the 600 block of Addison Street; at 8:30 a.m. in the 2400 block of Grant Street; and at 9 a.m. in the 1300 block of Carleton Street.

There was a disturbance at 8:50 a.m. in the 1500 block of Alcatraz Avenue.

Police arrested Joseph Catania, 35, in San Francisco on a warrant related to a 2014 Berkeley case involving identity theft. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail, without bail, and is scheduled for a report and sentencing hearing April 22.

There was a robbery at 1:31 p.m. in the 2300 block of Shattuck Avenue.

Police handed two calls involving weapon brandishing — at 1:50 p.m. in the 1200 block of Talbot Avenue, and at 7:01 p.m. at Durant and Telegraph avenues — and a call involving a gun or other weapon, at 5:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Russell Street. Police arrested Ronald Moredock, 42, in connection with the incident on Durant and Telegraph on suspicion of robbery. He remains in custody. … Continue reading »

2 men take plea deals after 1 is beaten on video

Downtown Berkeley ambassador assault. Image: Bryan Hamilton
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Two homeless men shown on video in a heated interaction that turned violent, when a Downtown Berkeley Association staffer appeared to punch one of the men repeatedly in the head, entered no contest pleas on Monday to misdemeanor battery and will be sentenced to two years of probation, authorities said.

According to a video of the March 19 incident that was posted on YouTube by local resident Bryan Hamilton, two association workers had asked the pair to leave the alleyway behind the downtown Berkeley CVS, at Shattuck Avenue and Bancroft Way, when one of the men became upset and proceeded to shout invectives at a DBA worker identified in court documents as Jeffrey Bailey. In the video, Bailey then appears to punch the man — identified as 30-year-old James Cocklereese — at least 10 times, pushing him to the ground.

Bailey initially reported the incident and told police he was only defending himself, and officers arrested Cocklereese and his associate Nathan Swor, 23, who can be seen in the video using a pole that authorities said had a blade attached to it to try to stop the apparent attack on Cocklereese. Both men were arrested Thursday night, March 19, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats.

This week, however, police became aware of the video and, after watching it Wednesday, March 25, they alerted the Alameda County district attorney’s office to it, said Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley student suspended after stabbing other student

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A Berkeley High School student was suspended after stabbing a fellow student in the back Thursday. The incident happened off campus during the lunch period. The BHS senior who was injured sustained a non-life-threatening knife wound, and was in stable condition with his family Thursday afternoon, according to an email put out by BHS Principal Kristin Glenchur at around 5 p.m.

Glenchur issued the first of two emails to the Berkeley High community just before 3 p.m. She said the incident happened near Milvia Street and University Avenue. Initially it was thought the perpetrator was not affiliated with Berkeley High but, in her second email, around two hours later, Glenchur said authorities had identified a BHS student “as the person who had the knife.”

“The altercation appears to have been personal and not random,” she wrote. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest man wanted after brutal attack on his mother

Randy Francis. Photo: Stockton Police
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Police officers arrested a man found in a stolen truck at the Berkeley marina who authorities say tried to kill his 86-year-old mother in Stockton earlier this month in a brutal assault.

Police have been looking for the man since the March 14 attack, which left the woman unresponsive. Doctors said initially she was not expected to survive, according to media reports.

According to a statement released Thursday by Officer Joseph Silva, spokesman for the Stockton Police Department, Berkeley officers found Randy Francis in a stolen 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup Thursday morning. Police said he stole that truck when he fled the scene of the Stockton attack.

Thursday morning, Berkeley officers impounded the truck and took 55-year-old Francis into custody without incident.

According to Silva, Francis had been wanted by police in connection with the March 14 attempted homicide of his mother, which occurred at her home in the 7300 block of North Pacific Avenue in Stockton. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police detain man after reported hammer attack

Berkeley Police on scene at Oregon Street where they detained a man who was allegedly involved in a hammer attack. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Berkeley police detained a man after he was allegedly involved in an assault using a hammer Tuesday afternoon at around 4 p.m. in Central Berkeley.

Because the suspect fled from the original scene, officers set up a perimeter that stretched from Telegraph Avenue between Stuart and Oregon streets to Regent Street, according to BPD spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

Willard Middle School on Stuart Street was put on lockdown for a short time during the incident. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, March 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. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern.

From March 5-11, there were reports of four robberies23 burglaries12 assaults or batteries, one weapon-involved call and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also seven stolen vehicles13 disturbances and 30 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included one sex crime and one weapons call. 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, March 5

There were four home burglaries: at 5 a.m. in the 2700 block of Ellsworth Street; at 10 a.m. in the 1800 block of Stuart Street; at 1 p.m. in the 2100 block of Stuart; and at 1:30 p.m. in the 2700 block of Mathews Street.

Police made at least three arrests at undisclosed locations around Berkeley beginning around 5:20 a.m. Those operations were reportedly part of a broader sweep by the Oakland Police Department to crack down on gang activities tied to East Oakland. Read more on Berkeleyside.

There was a disturbance at 8:59 a.m. at Jones and Second streets.

The BART Police reported the arrest of a man detained on suspicion of fare evasion at 11 a.m. at the downtown Berkeley BART station after he was found with a $20,000 warrant for threatening an officer. He was booked into Berkeley City Jail for the warrant.

There was a robbery at 8:30 p.m. at Adeline Street and Ashby Avenue.

A vehicle was stolen at 8:30 p.m. in the 1900 block of Hearst Avenue. … Continue reading »

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CHP seeks driver who fled after Berkeley crash injures 5

A crash on I-80 earlier this week sent five people to the hospital. Photo: Don Melandry
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The California Highway Patrol is looking for a driver who caused a crash on the freeway in Berkeley earlier this week that overturned his vehicle and sent three children and two adults to the hospital.

According to Deputy Berkeley Fire Chief Avery Webb, three vehicles were significantly damaged in the four-car collision. Westbound Interstate 80 was shut down for 10-15 minutes during the initial emergency response.

The crash took place Wednesday at 1:20 p.m., said Oakland CHP spokesman Officer Sean Wilkenfeld. A caller reported a collision on westbound Interstate 80 at University Avenue in Berkeley.

Wilkenfeld said the suspect’s 2015 Jeep Patriot, a rental car, rear ended a 1996 Honda Accord driven by a 32-year-old Oakland woman, causing the Jeep to overturn. There were three children — ages 2, 4 and 11 — in the Honda. They were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The Honda’s driver also was taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police investigate shooting in South Berkeley

Image: Google maps
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A male with a gunshot wound was taken to the hospital Saturday afternoon, and Berkeley police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the violence.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said officers received multiple 911 calls of possible gunshots just before 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14. Police responded to the area of 62nd and King streets in South Berkeley, on the Oakland border.

One reader told Berkeleyside he heard six to eight gunshots. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, 2/26-3/4

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. 26 to March 4, there were reports of five robberies28 burglaries13 assaults or batteries, one weapon-involved call and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 16 stolen vehicles11 disturbances and 28 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included a motor vehicle theft and one sex crime. 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. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley set to require surveillance video at liquor stores

Bing's Liquor
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Two young men were shot and killed near Bing’s Liquors store on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley in 2013. The homicides contributed to a recommendation this week that liquor stores in certain commercial areas of the city install or upgrade their surveillance systems within the next six months.

In the report that was given a first approval by the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday, police identified the areas of concern as downtown, University Avenue, Telegraph Avenue, San Pablo Avenue, north Shattuck Avenue, and Shattuck and Adeline.

Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan, who submitted the recommendation, said many liquor stores in the city already have video surveillance cameras. However they are not always maintained and there are inconsistencies in the type of systems used. He said a typical case might see the son at a family-owned business being the only one who knows how to operate the camera.

The new ordinance would see police officers help all the relevant liquor stores get compatible digital equipment that is in working order, he said, speaking at a special session in which the police presented their 2014 Crime Report.  … Continue reading »

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BART Police tower in North Berkeley prompts questions

Photo: Heidi Sachs
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When a slightly wonky-looking tower with a look-out cab on the top recently appeared in the parking lot of the North Berkeley BART station, local residents started asking questions. What was it for? How did anyone get into that cab anyway? Was it about to fall over?

It all began when Heidi Sachs sent us the above photo which we posted on Berkeleyside’s Facebook page. It prompted some enlightening comments.

We also checked in with BART who gave us the lowdown: the tower is called a SkyWatch trailer. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Violent crime dropped 25% in Berkeley in 2014

Berkeley's annual crime report is coming up Tuesday night. Image: Berkeley Police Department
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Police officials will give the Berkeley City Council a broad overview of 2014 crime trends Tuesday night, showing significant reductions in the city’s most serious incidents.

Last year saw a 25% reduction in violent crimes, and a 5% reduction in property crimes. The annual crime report draws largely on data submitted to the FBI. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports program tracks homicide, robbery, rape, burglary, larceny, auto theft and aggravated assault across 17,000 law enforcement agencies, which represent 90% of these agencies nationwide.

The city saw increases in aggravated assaults (8%) and commercial burglaries (28%). Arson reports were flat. Police said the assaults “frequently involved alcohol or drug abuse by victim and/or suspect, and frequently involved acquaintances.”  … Continue reading »

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