Category Archives: Crime

Noose at Berkeley High raised concerns over past suicide

Noose at BHS. Photo: anonymous
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Berkeley High administrators considered whether a noose found hanging in a tree earlier this month might have been in some way related to the suicide in February of a 21-year-old man on the BHS campus, according to Berkeley Unified Assistant Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi.

On Oct. 1 at around 2 p.m., a thin rope tied in the form of a noose was found in a tree on the campus green at Berkeley High School.

Berkeley police were called to investigate the incident, and worked with school safety officers.

Eight days after the discovery, on Oct. 9., Berkeley High Vice Principal Jorge Melgoza sent an email to the BHS community detailing what actions the school was taking in the wake of the noose’s discovery.

Melgoza described the noose as an “act of hate” and said it was “a clear and stark reminder that racism is alive and well in this country.”

Administrators also wondered whether the noose might be in some way related to the suicide on Feb. 17 on the campus of Michael B. Hamilton, who was not affiliated with the school, according to Scuderi, who, until last year, was principal of Berkeley High. … 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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Reward offered for identification of Berkeley park vandal

The Cesar Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar. Photo: John Northmore Roberts & Associates
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The city of Berkeley is offering a $1,000 reward for the identification of the person or people responsible for the recurring vandalism of the solar calendar installation at César Chávez Park.

Since the spring, educational placards have been repeatedly smashed and dozens of stones have disappeared from the installation, which is a memorial to the late labor organizer.

“It stops for a little bit, maybe a week or two, then comes back,” said Santiago Casal, director of the project. “We recently got hit twice in the matter of a few days.”

So far over 200 stones from the installation’s retaining wall have been taken or tossed around, requiring 28 hours of repair work, Casal said. … 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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Noose hanging from tree discovered at Berkeley High

One of the inner courtyards at Berkeley High
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Berkeley police are investigating the discovery of a noose hanging on a tree on the Berkeley High campus.

A BHS safety officer discovered the noose on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 1. It was immediately removed. The school said it appeared to be an isolated event. Nobody has been found responsible for what the school describes as a hate crime.

“This act of hate has never been, and will never be, tolerated on this campus,” BHS Vice Principal Jorge Melgoza wrote in an email to the school community on Thursday this week. “It is a reminder of a terrible period in our history that will never and should never be forgotten. This incident is a clear and stark reminder that racism is alive and well in this country and we as educators are the ones best suited to combat this ignorance. There are a variety of manners for this to happen and it all begins with us choosing to remain focused on the issue beyond this incident.” … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: After fatal stabbing, be the change in South Berkeley

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On Sept. 19, a 72-year-old woman was brutally stabbed in front of the Berkeley Zen Center in South Berkeley in a botched carjacking. For several days she lay in the hospital sedated and unresponsive, with irreparable brain damage. Because of this, her family decided to take her off life support. Two-and-a-half weeks after the attack, she died.

I keep waiting for the outrage. After all, when a slashing happened at the scenic North … 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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Video: Police ask for help after random violent assault of 85-year-old in downtown Berkeley

Police are looking for a woman who shoved an 85-year-old to the ground and rushed off. Image: BPD
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Update, Oct. 14: Read Berkeleyside’s exclusive story about the alleged assailant’s arrest.

Original story, Oct. 7: Authorities are looking for a woman they say turned suddenly, without provocation, and violently shoved an 85-year-old pedestrian to the ground as she walked in downtown Berkeley in September.

The assault caused serious injuries, and the victim required treatment at the hospital. Authorities have released a video (below) that shows what took place.

According to police, the 85-year-old Oakland woman was walking with a relative on Shattuck Avenue near Allston Way on Sept. 23 just after 9:30 p.m. when a woman who had passed them rushed back at them, forcefully pushed the Oakland woman to the ground, and immediately walked away. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police make frat house arrest in 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. 3: Police have arrested a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student in connection with a sexual assault reported last weekend.

Berkeley police arrested Eugene Quillin on Thursday at UC Berkeley’s Delta Upsilon fraternity house at 2425 Warring St. after serving a search warrant there, authorities said. As of Friday afternoon, Quillin had been released on bail, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.

Thursday, the University of California Police Department sent out an email notice to report two instances of sexual assault at fraternities Saturday. Both had been reported to the Berkeley Police Department.

Berkeley police also received a report of a third sexual assault Saturday that “may have occurred in a fraternity,” according to UCPD. No further information on those incidents has been released.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley Police recover loaded firearm, 9 ounces of pot during bust of 13-time felon

Image via Facebook
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A man with 13 felony convictions dating back to 1978, who was stopped by police recently while driving in Berkeley, has been charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with three new felonies related to firearm possession and drug sales.

A woman with him in the car has been charged with possession of marijuana for sale, and also with the fraudulent possession of the personal information of 10 people.

Calvin Phelps, also known as Eli Washington, and Maridena Wilson, 44, were stopped by Berkeley police Sept. 4 at San Pablo Avenue and 67th Street just before 10:20 p.m.

According to court papers, police smelled marijuana in the vehicle. During a search, they found nearly 15 grams of suspected marijuana, along with a digital scale and more than 100 sandwich bags, which can be used in drug sales.

Police obtained a search warrant for Phelps’ apartment, on Tyler Street in Berkeley, and recovered a loaded firearm, and 9 ounces of suspected marijuana packaged for sales, as well as 14 fake or fraudulent credit cards and 10 driver’s licenses with Wilson’s photograph on them. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Sept. 18-24

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. 18-24, there were reports of 13 burglaries24 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles and nine stolen vehicles, according to CrimeMapping.comThree robberies19 assaults, domestic violence incidents or batteries and one sexual assault were reported. Significant incidents from the University of California Police Department included a weapons call, a sexual assault, a burglary and a vehicle theft. In addition, BART Police noted a robbery at the North Berkeley BART station. 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. 18

Two vehicles were stolen, at 8:25 a.m. in the 2200 block of Jefferson Avenue, and at 6 p.m. in the 1400 block of 10th Street. A vehicle was also stolen from University Village in Albany at 7:17 a.m., according to the University of California Police Department.

A business was burglarized at 10:09 a.m. in the 2900 block of College Avenue.

Someone brandished a weapon at 12:30 p.m. at West Street and University Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest armed felon with robbery warrant

Image: Google maps
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Police arrested an armed man in South Berkeley earlier this month who was wanted in connection with one robbery, and on probation for another.

On Sept. 14, Berkeley Police Officer Derek Radey was on patrol near 67th and Mabel streets, not far from San Pablo Avenue, when he happened upon a green Ford without license plates that was parked in the middle of the road, according to court papers.

Radey spoke with the driver, who identified himself as 28-year-old Keith Davis Jr. of Berkeley.

Davis had an active felony warrant for robbery and another warrant for domestic violence. He also was on probation for robbery, which allowed police to search him.  … Continue reading »

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