Tag Archives: Berkeley stabbing

Crime

Man held to answer in Berkeley murder, carjacking case

A 2011 photograph of Kamau Berlin. Source: Facebook
Print Friendly

A 20-year-old man accused of murder with special circumstances was ordered Wednesday morning by an Alameda County Superior Court judge to face nearly all of the charges filed against him as the case moves ahead to trial.

 dismissed one count and one special circumstance related to rape allegations, and said the prosecution had not presented sufficient evidence to support those charges.

Kamau Berlin, who was a student at Berkeley Technology Academy at the time of his arrest, was ordered to return to court May 18 for arraignment as the case proceeds. He will continue to be held without bail, Burgess said.

Berlin told his mother he had just needed a ride home the day he was arrested near the car where 72-year-old Nancy McClellan was found bleeding from the neck due to a stab wound. Police testified that, when his mother insisted during a jailhouse interview that he tell her the truth of what had happened, he said he had seen a woman in a car, started hitting her to get her out of the car, and then threw her into the backseat.

He also mentioned to his mother having used brass knuckles during the attack, which ultimately helped police track down the murder weapon in the days after Berlin’s arrest.

At the time of his arrest, in September 2014, he told police a red substance on him that looked like blood was actually “fake blood for Halloween.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Authorities: Man admitted to killing, tried to bargain with God, in secret recording by Berkeley police

A tree outside the Berkeley Zen Center has become a memorial to Nancy McClellan. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

Left alone in the back of a police car, authorities say an 18-year-old man arrested after the stabbing of a 72-year-old woman in South Berkeley in 2014 confessed to killing “the old lady” and told God he did not want to go to jail for life.

Unbeknownst to him, his statements were recorded by Berkeley Police investigators. Those statements, as well as a secretly recorded jailhouse conversation between him and his mother that led police to the alleged murder weapon, were presented Wednesday by the prosecution during the second day of the preliminary hearing for Kamau Berlin.

Berlin, now 20, is facing a murder charge as well as other serious felonies for the September 2014 killing and attempted carjacking of Nancy McClellan. This week, an Alameda County Superior Court judge heard testimony and evidence in the case against Berlin. Judge Rhonda Burgess said she will not decide until May 4 whether to send the case forward to trial though both sides have rested.

Read complete coverage of the case.

Berkeley Police Sgt. Peter Hong testified Wednesday about a significant break in the investigation that took place shortly after Berlin’s arrest. Concerned McClellan may have been sexually assaulted, police took Berlin for an exam Sept. 19 to test him for any signs of that possibility. (The results of that exam were not presented during this week’s two-day hearing, which began Tuesday.)

Officers had to wait for the medical examiner to arrive, and left Berlin alone and handcuffed in a police car, Hong said. A detective secretly left a recorder on the front seat. Hong testified Wednesday about the evidence he said the recording contained when he listened to it. The recording was not played in court.

Hong said Berlin was “thinking out loud,” talking to himself, when he “admitted to killing ‘the old lady.'”

“‘Work with me, God, I know I did this, I stabbed the lady,'” Hong said he heard on the recording. Berlin made comments about how bad the situation would look in court, according to Hong: the way the woman’s pants had been pulled down, and how he had run from police. He observed that police had not found “the brass knuckles,” and said someone behind him had seen what happened.

Hong later added that Berlin mentioned the words “trying” and “carjacking,” and said: “I killed her. She didn’t deserve it.” He told God he did not want to be sent to jail for life, Hong said. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Witnesses to fatal Berkeley attack did not see killer’s face

Nancy McClellan. Photo: David Gallagher
Print Friendly

An Alameda County Superior Court judge is expected to decide this week whether the case against a former Berkeley Technology Academy student charged with murder and other serious crimes will continue on to trial.

Kamau Berlin, then 18, was arrested Sept. 19, 2014, after a brief police chase about a block from where 72-year-old Nancy McClellan had been left bleeding from life-threatening neck wounds in the back of her green Honda Civic. It was 4:30 p.m. on a Friday. McClellan had been attending a wedding at the nearby Berkeley Zen Center, where she was a member and also a gardener.

Witnesses in the area, both civilians and police officers, testified Tuesday as the preliminary hearing in the case began before Judge Rhonda Burgess. Two neighbors saw a young man matching Berlin’s description in the immediate vicinity of the Honda, at Otis and Russell streets, but neither saw the man’s face or felt they had seen it clearly enough to identify Berlin with certainty. Another witness saw a man matching his description running from the scene but, again, did not see his face.

A Berkeley Police officer who arrived on Otis, just south of Russell, testified Tuesday he made eye contact with Berlin minutes after the initial call came into dispatch. The officer, Christopher Schulz, said Berlin was walking casually down the street. The two made eye contact after Schulz pulled up in his police cruiser. Then Berlin took off running, said Schulz, hopping a 6-foot wrought-iron security gate to access a back yard on Otis before jumping a wooden fence onto a detached garage and disappearing westbound toward Martin Luther King Jr. Way. He was arrested a short time later.

Read complete coverage of the case.

The prosecution is expected to present evidence Wednesday to explain how a conversation between Berlin and his mother led police to the murder weapon, which was recovered near the area where police took him into custody. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Police: Berkeley double stabbing was unprovoked

Police were called to the 1000 block of University Avenue, near 10th Street, for a double stabbing early Tuesday. Image: Google Maps
Print Friendly

The 33-year-old Berkeley man arrested after a double stabbing in a University Avenue apartment earlier this week told authorities he “should have killed everyone there,” according to court papers.

Tristan Chaix was arrested at the scene, near University and 10th Street, and charged Thursday by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon identified as a knife. He was on probation at the time of the attack for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury following a September 2015 conviction.

According to court papers, Chaix was in a home on University “when unprovoked he went into the kitchen” and got three kitchen knives, then “began to attack the people inside that apartment.”

He stabbed two men before the victims managed “to knock the knives out of his hands,” police wrote. Two of the four people in the apartment were taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

“Chaix stated at the scene he should have killed everyone there,” according to police. Victims told police that, had they not been able to disarm Chaix “they would have been murdered.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,
Crime

Man arrested after double stabbing in West Berkeley

Police were called to the 1000 block of University Avenue, near 10th Street, for a double stabbing early Tuesday. Image: Google Maps
Print Friendly

A man authorities said appeared to be under the influence of alcohol is reported to have stabbed two acquaintances at a West Berkeley home early Tuesday morning, but they are expected to survive.

Both victims were taken to the hospital with what appeared to be knife wounds. The man was also taken to the hospital for evaluation, authorities said, before he was arrested.

Berkeley Police Sgt. Angela Hawk said the victims’ injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Few details were available due to the early stage of the investigation, but she said it appeared the man and his victims knew each other. His name was not yet available as of about 4 a.m.

Shortly before 1:40 a.m police were called about the stabbing at a second-floor unit in the 1000 block of University Avenue, west of San Pablo Avenue near 10th Street. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,
Crime

1 man cut, 1 stabbed in 2 mysterious Berkeley assaults

Berkeley police cruisers (file), April 2013. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

Two men sought treatment at the hospital last Thursday night after receiving mysterious injuries in Berkeley.

They had few details to share with authorities about how the injuries came about.

In the first case, officers were dispatched to Herrick Hospital at about 9:40 p.m. for a report of a stabbing victim who had walked in seeking help.

The 26-year-old San Leandro man was suffering from a “possible stab wound,” said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

He did not know where he had received the injuries, but described a location to police that may have been near Channing Way and Ellsworth Street, which is two blocks south of the UC Berkeley campus.

“He provided limited information saying he was walking by a group when he was stabbed by an unknown assailant,” Coats said. “He then walked to Herrick for assistance.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,
Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Dec. 3-9

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.
Print Friendly

This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please share photos, videos and 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 anonymity. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — you may be the only one to get in touch. We want to know about issues of concern and rely on readers to help us stay informed.

From Dec. 3-9, there were reports of five robberies16 burglaries10 assaults or batteries, four weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also nine stolen vehicles15 disturbances and 43 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A stolen vehicle was reported by the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period.

Thursday, Dec. 3

There were two disturbance calls, at 7:55 a.m. in the 1400 block of Hawthorne Terrace, and at 8 a.m. in the 1900 block of Allston Way.

There was a home burglary at 8:25 a.m. in the 1300 block of Santa Fe Avenue.

Two vehicles were stolen, at 11 a.m. at Hearst Avenue and Oxford Street, and at 8 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph Avenue.

Police responded to a stabbing at the Old City Hall homeless protest camp and arrested a man shortly before 11:30 a.m. in the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Jerry Ziegler, 53, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $80,000. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Dec. 17.

A motorist reported to the BART Police the theft of a gold-colored 1997 Honda Accord from the North Berkeley BART station between 8:30 a.m. and about 5:40 p.m.

car crash downed power lines and caused outages to more than 1,000 people in southwest Berkeley at 8:40 p.m., and police say it appears drugs or alcohol may have been a contributing factor. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Op-ed: A night in Berkeley’s Liberty City

Print Friendly

I wanted to camp at least once at Liberty City when I learned how it had formed, partly because I wanted to see what was really up, and partly because I wanted to meet the participants I had heard so much about, and partly because I had been hidden homeless two years, myself, and the things bound up in protest resonated strongly with my own sentiments while I was without permanent housing in Berkeley. So I borrowed a sleeping bag and mat from a friend, and I headed over to check things out after letting a few people know I was coming.

When I arrived I was warmly welcomed. A couple people toured me around the demonstration and explained its boundaries: there was a set of people directly affiliated with the protest, and then there were others who were not for a variety of reasons. A speed dealer and his junkies had been moved on. Word had been put out about that to make it clear that the protest itself was to remain within legal bounds. There was a table with food where the community’s meals were served, and various members routinely made sweeps for trash. Decisions were being made by consensus through a general assembly Liberty City had itself set up.

Not long after I arrived, one of the protesters who had oriented me offered me a tarp for the ground, and then after some thought, my own tent for the night. He said he’d feel better about my safety in a tent. I told him I appreciated the offer, but then after some conversation and thought, that I used to sleep in a bivouac when camping and so felt content on the ground. After that, someone put on a documentary film and it began to get colder, so I decided to go to bed. Others were turning in as well. I think it might have been 8 or 9 pm. I had left my cell phone at home. … Continue reading »

Tagged , ,
Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, 11/26-12/2

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.
Print Friendly

This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please share photos, videos and 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 anonymity. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — you may be the only one to get in touch. We want to know about issues of concern and rely on readers to help us stay informed.

From Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, there were reports of one robbery13 burglaries13 assaults or batteries, no weapon-involved calls and two sexual assaults, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also eight stolen vehiclesseven disturbances and 31 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. An assault, a burglary and two sex crimes were reported by the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period.

Thursday, Nov. 26

There was a home burglary at 5 p.m. in the 1900 block of Chestnut Street.

Two vehicles were stolen, at 6 p.m. in the 2400 block of Acton Street, and at 6 p.m. in the 2700 block of Forest Avenue.

There was a disturbance call at 8:06 p.m. in the 1400 block of Addison Street. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Berkeley homeless encampment at Old City Hall packs up under city orders

Dismantling Liberty camp on Friday Dec. 4. Photo Jay Rooney
Print Friendly

Update: Three arrests were made while the encampment was packing up, according to Berkeley city spokesman Matthai Chakko. Chakko said he expected all three to be cited and released today.

Three truck-loads of belongings associated with the camp were removed by the city, he said, and services were offered to the campers.

Campers were told where they could collect their belongings, Chakko said. City workers arrived at the camp at 7:30 a.m. and the camp was all cleared out by 10:30 a.m.

By noon the city had erected a temporary fence around the space where the encampment had been. A sign on the fence reads: “Lawn are under renovation. Please keep out. Thanks for your patience. City of Berkeley Parks.”

According to Ted Friedman who was on scene, some of the campers have moved across the street to Civic Center Park.

View a gallery of photos of the eviction taken by Ted Friedman.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Police make arrest after homeless camp stabbing

Residents of a homeless encampment remain on the grounds of Old City Hall in what they say is a protest of new laws passed this week by the City Council. Photo: David Yee
Print Friendly

Berkeley police responded to a stabbing at the recently established Old City Hall homeless encampment and arrested a man late Thursday morning.

According to a post on the “First they came for the homeless” Facebook page, which has been documenting happenings and efforts at the camp, “Shortly before noon, one of the protesters was stabbed in the leg.… The incident occurred with no warning, and no provocation. The occupation rose up and quickly surrounded the man with the knife.”

The post, published at 12:15 p.m., continued: “They announced a citizens arrest. The man grabbed a stick and started attacking. We grabbed sticks, and without hitting him, defended themselves. The police, whose station is 100 feet away, took 5 minutes to respond.”

According to the post, the stabbing victim is in the hospital and police arrested the alleged assailant. The Berkeley Police Department was not able to respond to a request for information prior to publication. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
Crime

2 stabbings on Telegraph; gunshots on Mabel

Berkeley Police cruisers on Telegraph, March 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

Update, Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m. Police said they later determined both stabbings on Telegraph were related to the same street fight, as reported Monday by the Daily Cal.

Original story, Oct. 17, 1:44 a.m. Berkeley Police officers had a busy night Friday, including two stabbings on Telegraph Avenue, and a call about gunshots on Mabel Street.

Berkeley Police Lt. Alyson Hart said neither of the stabbing victims appeared to have life-threatening injuries, and neither were cooperating with investigators. The stabbings did not initially appear to be related, but the investigation is ongoing.

At about 11:30 p.m., officers were called to Telegraph and Durant avenues, outside Pappy’s bar, for a report of an adult male stabbing victim. He was taken to the hospital for medical care. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley schools, police, city join forces on youth crime

A tree outside the Berkeley Zen Center has become a memorial to Nancy McClellan. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Print Friendly

Berkeley school officials, police and the city are gearing up to work more closely on juvenile crime issues, both to improve information sharing and try to get services to youth who need them.

A small group of residents — part of the Berkeley Safe Neighborhoods Committee (BSNC), an umbrella organization for neighborhood watch-type activities — got an update on the fledgling effort Monday night, though it had been announced for the first time in November.

Since then, Berkeley Police Capt. Andrew Greenwood said he has met with the city attorney to figure out what type of information can legally be shared. Greenwood also met a couple times with Susan Craig, director of Student Services for the Berkeley Unified School District — briefly, and in the context of other discussions — to figure out some of the logistics of the endeavor. But there have not yet been any official meetings of what had been pitched as a “working group,” and Greenwood left it an open question Monday as to whether those meetings will actually take place.

Former Mayor Shirley Dean, who runs the neighborhood group, told Greenwood that BSNC believes monthly meetings will be a critical component of the working group’s success, and said BSNC will continue to include the item on its agenda, and watch closely as the effort unfolds. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,