Category Archives: Crime

Mental health calls #1 drain on Berkeley police resources

Thirty-five percent of calls to the Berkeley Police Department are for people who are having a mental health crisis. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Responding to people with mental health issues is the number one drain on police resources in Berkeley, a police officer who specializes in the topic said this week.

Nationally, 10% of police calls are for people having a mental health crisis, according to Berkeley Police Officer Jeff Shannon. In Berkeley, that number is 35% or more. Over the past five years, police have seen a 43% increase in calls for “5150s,” or people who are a danger to themselves or others, he said.

“Not only in Berkeley, but across the nation, we are experiencing a mental health crisis,” Shannon told members of the Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee on Monday. “We are seeing way more people who are sick, way more people who are in crisis, who need help, than we have capacity.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

3 men charged after Berkeley beating, stun gun assault

A crowd waiting outside 924 Gilman in 2010 (file photo). Photo: Daniel Gies
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Three men have been charged with battery, and one with assault with a stun gun, after an attack on a former friend outside a West Berkeley music club in March, according to authorities.

According to court papers, Jackson Achorn, Jack Moore and Devin Schorger assaulted their former friend outside 924 Gilman Street on March 14. Police who responded for a report of a fight found a motorcycle in the street, and the victim’s property — including a bicycle — scattered on the ground.

The victim told police that Schorger had punched and choked him, while Moore “helped during the assault.” Achorn, 20, of Berkeley reportedly joined in the assault by using a stun gun on the man’s legs. … Continue reading »

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Shooting on Shattuck at Ashby sends 2 to hospital

Shattuck Avenue was expected to re-open by around 10 a.m., with one block of Ashby to remain closed, from Shattuck west to Newberry. Photo: Citizen reporter
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By Emilie Raguso and Frances Dinkelspiel

Update, 11:44 a.m. Ashby and Shattuck avenues are now open to all traffic, police report. Read our 8:55 a.m. update below to learn more about Monday morning’s shooting.

Update, 10:25 a.m. Police confirmed at 10:24 a.m. that Shattuck Avenue is now open. Ashby Avenue west of Shattuck remains closed. Police advise motorists to use alternate routes.

Update, 9:43 a.m. One neighbor said police told her Shattuck Avenue should be open in the next few minutes, though Ashby Avenue will remain closed between Shattuck and Newbury Street to the west.

Update, 8:55 a.m. A busy South Berkeley intersection remains closed as police investigate an early-morning shooting Monday, authorities said.

According to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats, the shooting took place at Shattuck and Ashby avenues just before 1:45 a.m., and may have involved two vehicles firing at each other.

Two men in their 20s in one of the vehicles were seriously injured, Coats said. Paramedics who responded took them to Highland Hospital for treatment.

The other vehicle was gone from the area before police arrived, and its occupants remain at large. No arrests have been made.  … Continue reading »

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5 arrested in Berkeley after 15-20 youth fights downtown

Berkeley High police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Update, April 13, 5 p.m. Regarding the students who were arrested Friday, the Berkeley Police Department has provided the following basic information:

  • A 16-year-old female was arrested on suspicion of participating in a riot, as well as battery on a peace officer or other sort of officer or first responder.
  • A 16-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of probation violation.
  • Two 17-year-old males were arrested on suspicion of battery.
  • An 18-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of battery, as well as either fighting in a public place or challenging another person to a fight in public. (Police identified him April 15 as Deantae Williams.)

Four of the students are listed as Berkeley residents. The 18-year-old lives in Richmond, according to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. Berkeley High Principal Kristen Glenchur identified all five of the youth on Friday as Berkeley Unified students: three Berkeley High students and two Berkeley Technology Academy students. She said the students also would “face additional school discipline.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley man charged with rape of sleeping woman

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A woman whose car got locked inside a Berkeley parking garage, and accepted an offer of a place to sleep from a man she knew, woke up in the morning to find him raping her, according to police.

The incident took place Wednesday, April 8, according to court papers requested by Berkeleyside after learning of the man’s arrest.

According to those documents, just after midnight April 8, a woman realized her car had been locked inside a Berkeley parking garage.

A 22-year-old man described as an acquaintance, William Joseph Ryan III, offered to let her sleep at his apartment until the garage opened.

The woman accepted the offer and they went to Ryan’s apartment in the 1900 block of Oxford Street, Berkeley Police Officer Dave Marble wrote in papers related to Ryan’s subsequent arrest. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, 3/26-4/1

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 26 to April 1, there were reports of seven robberies18 burglariesnine assaults or batteries, five weapon-involved calls and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 11 stolen vehiclesnine disturbances and 33 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included three incidents of vandalism from earlier in the month. 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 26

One vehicle was stolen, at 2 a.m. in the 2100 block of Haste Street.

There were two home burglaries, at 5 a.m. in the 2400 block of Dwight Way, and at 8 a.m. in the 900 block of Page Street. (Read more about the increase this year in home burglaries in a recent Berkeleyside story.)

There were two gun- or other weapon-involved calls, at 7:49 a.m. in the 200 block of University Avenue, and at 7:26 p.m. at Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue. In the second incident, police arrested Courtney Porter, 24, of Vallejo and Simone Robinson, 23, of American Canyon after a traffic stop resulted in the discovery of a loaded, unregistered black handgun and suspected cocaine packaged for sale, according to court documents. Porter has been charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. The pair has been charged with cocaine sales, possession of cocaine while armed with a firearm, and the manufacture or sale of a large-capacity magazine; according to police, the handgun found in the vehicle had an extended magazine, as well as a bullet in the chamber. Robinson is no longer in custody, but Porter remains at Santa Rita Jail without bail. The pair is scheduled for further pre-trial April 16. Porter is not eligible for bail because he is a parolee.

Berkeley 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 in March in a brutal assault. Read more on Berkeleyside. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police seek tips in fatal shooting of Berkeley bystander

Emilio Nevarez. Photo: Emilio Nevarez/Facebook
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A Berkeley musician was fatally injured by a stray bullet over the weekend, and police are asking for help to track down his killer.

There are also rewards of $20,000 from CrimeStoppers and $5,000 from Pet Food Express for tips that help solve the crime and lead to successful prosecution of the case.

Emiliano “Emilio” Nevarez, a 26-year-old Berkeley man, had just finished playing a show with his band on Sunday, April 5, at 1 a.m. when a stray bullet struck him in Oakland in the 400 block of 14th Street, near Broadway, as he prepared to pack music equipment into a van.

Thursday, the Oakland Police Department released several photographs, obtained from video surveillance footage, of individuals and a vehicle they believe are associated with the shooting. There are two people in the photographs, a man and woman police say were with the shooter the night of the incident, as well as an early 2000s-model Mercedes Benz four-door silver sedan S-series.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police seize guns, pot, pills in felon search

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Berkeley police serving a search warrant at two homes linked to an Oakland felon last week turned up more than a thousand Xanax and Viagra pills packaged for sale, along with both marijuana and methamphetamine, and several firearms.

Police ultimately arrested 32-year-old Kaechan Saechao after discovering those items during the April 1 searches.

According to court papers, a Berkeley Police detective served search warrants April 1 at two East Oakland apartments linked to Saechao.

During those searches, in the 2900 block of Nicol Avenue and 2200 block of East 17th Street, police said they found 349 Xanax pills and nearly 1,200 Viagra pills packaged for sale, as well as 156 grams of methamphetamine and 1.5 pounds of marijuana.

According to court papers, police recovered one loaded handgun and three unloaded revolvers, as well as $2,500 in cash, digital scales and more packaging materials. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Police link Tilden homicide cold case to San Pablo man

William Huff. Photo: EBRPD
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After more than two decades, police say they have charged the man they believe strangled and sexually assaulted two women: a young mother whose body was found in Tilden Park in 1987, and a Laotian immigrant in her 50s whose body was discovered in her boyfriend’s backyard in 1993.

The man responsible for those crimes, police announced Tuesday, was William Huff, also known as “Wild Bill,” a 51-year-old San Pablo man who now faces two murder charges in Contra Costa County. The charges against Huff also include two special circumstance allegations of murder during the course of a sexual assault.

Authorities said they used DNA evidence to tie Huff to the crimes. According to a statement released Tuesday, the cases were reopened as part of a collaborative effort involving investigators from the East Bay Regional Park District and San Pablo police departments and a newly formed Cold Case Unit in the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley home burglaries spike in 2015 over prior year

Police have reported sharp increases in home burglaries around Berkeley. (Click the map to view it larger.) Image: BPD
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Berkeley police are reporting huge increases in home burglaries in early 2015 compared to preliminary statistics recorded last year.

Police received 70 home burglary calls for service in January 2015, compared to 46 the prior year. In February, the gap was even starker: There were 80 home burglary calls, compared to 25 the prior year. That’s a 220% increase.

In late March, those increases prompted the police department to put out a community alert to inform local residents about the issue.

The most noticeable pattern of burglaries is occurring in three neighborhoods, police said: north of Ohlone Park, south of the UC Berkeley campus and in the Elmwood district, as pictured in the “heat map” above.

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, March 19-25

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 19-25, there were reports of six robberies21 burglaries17 assaults or batteries, two weapon-involved calls and no sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also six stolen vehicles12 disturbances and 43 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included one sex crime from earlier in the month. 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 19

There were two vehicles stolen, at 5:30 a.m. in the 3100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and at 4 p.m. in the 2200 block of Eunice Street.

There were two home burglaries, at 11:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of Grant Street, and at 10 p.m. in the 1100 block of Shattuck Avenue.

UCPD arrested Danielle Bonnington, 33, in connection with a robbery in the Bowles parking lot the prior week. Two 18-year-old students were robbed of a backpack, an iPhone and a wallet containing $200. She remains in custody without bail at Santa Rita Jail. Read more in last week’s blotter.

UCPD reported a sex crime in the Foothill housing complex at 2700 Hearst Ave., but that was in connection with an incident reported March 10.

There was a felony assault or battery at 7:17 p.m. in the 2300 block of Shattuck.

There was a disturbance at 11:45 p.m. in the 2500 block of San Pablo Avenue.

Police are investigating after a man working as a Downtown Berkeley Association “ambassador” punched a homeless man multiple times in the alley behind CVS, at Shattuck Avenue and Bancroft Way. Police initially arrested the homeless man and an associate in response to a report which now appears to have been false. Berkeleyside will continue to follow the story. See past coverage. … Continue reading »

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Case dismissed against 2 homeless men after review of Berkeley beating video

Downtown Berkeley ambassador assault. Image: Bryan Hamilton
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The Alameda County district attorney’s office has dismissed the case against two men who pleaded guilty to battery charges last week. The decision came after authorities reviewed a video that showed an interaction, between the men and two Downtown Berkeley Association workers, that began as a verbal altercation and took a violent turn.

In the video — which has been viewed on YouTube more than 60,000 times — a worker for the merchants association can be seen punching one of those men at least 10 times, pushing him to the ground. When the worker, identified in court papers as Jeffrey Bailey, initially told authorities about the March 19 incident, prior to the discovery of the video, he said he had just been defending himself.

Read more about homelessness in Berkeley, and past coverage of the story.

Police arrested Quinton Cocklereese, 29, and Nathan Swor, 23, based on Bailey’s report, and the district attorney’s office filed seven misdemeanor charges against the pair. Last week, police said they learned of the video — which was posted online by Bryan Hamilton on Sunday, March 22 — and alerted the district attorney’s office to it. But the two homeless men had already pleaded guilty to battery and been sentenced to probation. … Continue reading »

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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, Quinton 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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