Tag Archives: Jennifer Coats

Crime

Teen surrenders after baseball bat attack, police standoff

The Grove Park baseball diamond backstop. Image: Google Maps
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A 17-year-old male with a baseball bat who authorities say attacked another male, causing potentially life-threatening injuries, then climbed on top of the Grove Park baseball field backstop, ultimately surrendered to officers who focused on talking him down Friday afternoon.

At about 12:10 p.m., according to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, police received a report of an assault at Grove Park, at 1730 Oregon St., in South Berkeley. The teenager had struck another male, whose injuries were severe enough to require transport by ambulance to Highland Hospital, the area’s trauma center.

Officers responded quickly to the park and set up a perimeter. They found the teen with the bat sitting on top of the backstop, at least 12 feet up in the air. He was reported over the scanner to be non-responsive, with the bat beside him.

Police called for a less-lethal weapon to be brought to the park, as well as Tasers from Albany, but made it clear over the scanner that they wanted to talk the teen down using a CIT approach — focused on crisis deescalation and intervention — and a mental health worker, who also was called to the scene.  … Continue reading »

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Update: Driver arrested, cyclist critical after crash

Emergency personnel work the scene of a collision involving a motorist and a bicyclist on Fulton Street and Bancroft Way. Photo: David Yee
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Update, Feb. 5, 9 a.m. Read Berkeleyside’s update on Meg Schwarzman, the cyclist who was struck. The Berkeley physician and mother is expected to survive, though the road to recovery looks to be long.

Update, Feb. 3, 11 a.m. BPD says there have been no updates to report as far as the cyclist’s condition.

Update, 10:15 p.m. Berkeley police have arrested the driver involved in the crash, 47-year-old Berwick Haynes of Sunnyvale, on suspicion of driving under the influence. In a statement released just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, BPD said it was continuing to investigate the injury collision. The bicyclist, a 42-year-old Berkeley woman, is in critical condition at a local hospital. At 10 p.m. police were still at the scene of the accident taking measurements, and the intersection remained closed.

Update, 6:28 p.m. Police have asked motorists to avoid Fulton and Bancroft due to the earlier crash. Southbound Fulton between Bancroft and Kittredge Street is closed. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley marijuana dispensary robbed at gunpoint

The Berkeley Patients' Group has distributed free medical cannabis for years to low-income patients. A new law passed by the  Berkeley City Council codifies this and requires dispensaries to give away 2% of its cannabis to the poor.
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Police are looking for three masked robbers with a gun who tied up a security guard and took several trays of marijuana plants from a Berkeley medical cannabis dispensary over the weekend while the business was closed.

The robbery took place Sunday just before 1:20 a.m., said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, when three people went into the parking lot of the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) dispensary at 2366 San Pablo Ave., near Channing Way.

A security guard was posted in the parking lot. No other employees were on site.

“The suspects approached the guard, one armed with a gun,” said Coats. “The guard was tied up. The suspects entered the business and forced the security guard to lay on the ground.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Gun violence makes for busy weekend for Berkeley police

Police responded to two shootings in South Berkeley over the weekend. Locations are approximate and reflect only the block. Image: Google Maps
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Berkeley police handled two significant incidents over the weekend involving gunfire, one that sent a man to the hospital and another that led to the arrest of three 18-year-olds.

Police have been unable to respond to a request for information about the incidents, so Berkeleyside reviewed scanner transmissions to learn, at least preliminarily, about what took place. The information that follows has not been confirmed, but this story will be updated if details are provided by authorities.

Saturday, police responded to a home on Stuart Street, near California Street, after a man called police to report that he had been shot in the leg. Paramedics took the man to Highland Hospital for treatment, but he was not cooperative, according to scanner recordings.

(Update, 6 p.m. A brief statement from police appears at the bottom of this story.)

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Crime

2 arrested after West Berkeley carjacking, robbery

The pedestrian and bicycle overpass at the north end of Aquatic Park in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Police arrested two men early Monday morning after they reportedly brandished knives and carjacked a motorist in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said authorities received a call at 3:10 a.m. Monday alerting them of the incident.

The victim, a man from Hayward, “reported that two suspects brandished knives at him and demanded his property. They also stole his vehicle,” Coats said.

Officers spotted the vehicle as they were responding to the scene, in the northern part of park, and tried to stop it. The driver fled from police with what Coats described as “a wanton disregard for public safety.” … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police recover 3 loaded guns in car search

Berkeley Police station. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Three men entered “no contest” pleas last week and accepted six-month jail sentences after police recovered three loaded handguns hidden in their vehicle during a car search in Berkeley earlier this month.

On Dec. 6, police stopped the men at about 6:30 p.m. as they were driving near Dwight Way and Acton Street, said Officer Jennifer Coats.

During the stop, police found probable cause to search the sedan, which was occupied by Ulisses Juarez and Orlando Ruiz — 19-year-olds from Concord — and Kelvin Parache, 24, from Bay Point.

Police located a handgun hidden near each of the vehicle occupants. One had been reported stolen out of Fresno. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Homeless man arrested after Berkeley bank robbery

Union Bank was robbed Tuesday. Image: Google Maps
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Berkeley police officers recovered the cash after arresting a homeless man they said was responsible for robbing a bank late Tuesday morning.

According to police, Barrett Brown was not armed but instead used a note to demand money from a teller at the downtown Berkeley Union Bank located at 2333 Shattuck Ave., at Durant Avenue.

Police described Brown, who is 35, as transient.

Bank staff called in the robbery report to police dispatchers at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Lt. Jennifer Louis, dayshift watch commander. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Woman charged in Berkeley teen sex trafficking case

Image via Facebook
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An Oakland woman is set to appear in court this week to face charges in a teen sex trafficking investigation that began at Berkeley High School.

Trinice Suwanabart, 23, was arrested in November after police linked her to the case earlier this year.

According to court papers, Berkeley High School Resource Officer Ethell Wilson began looking into the case in January after a 15-year-old girl was reported missing after running away.

In September, Berkeley Police Capt. Dave Frankel described the case to City Council members during the mid-year crime report presentation. Frankel said Wilson had received a tip from a school safety officer that the teenager might have been a victim of human trafficking.

Wilson contacted the victim’s family, which led to a closer look at her cell phone activity, Frankel said. That led police to a Motel 6 near the Oakland airport where officers, with the help of the department’s Special Enforcement Unit, set up a surveillance operation in February to try to find the girl.

Frankel said an undercover officer set up a “date” to try to find the victim. Officers identified two motel rooms being used by people Frankel described as traffickers, and ultimately contacted four people in connection with the investigation. … Continue reading »

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Police

Car crash causes power outage in southwest Berkeley

The car crash at Ward and San Pablo. Photo: Danielle Madugo
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A car crash downed power lines and caused outages to more than 1,000 people in southwest Berkeley on Thursday night, and police say it appears drugs or alcohol may have been a contributing factor.

Reports began coming into Berkeleyside from readers on Twitter at about 8:40 p.m. Readers said the car crashed at Ward Street and San Pablo Avenue.

One local resident said, after the crash, the vehicle’s sole occupant appeared to stumble out of the sedan and collapse in a neighbor’s yard.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dan Montgomery said the man was naked from the waist down when police took him into custody. The man, who looked to be in his early 20s, was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Police recovered the man’s pants at the scene.

Police believe the driver may have been intoxicated and are treating the crash as a DUI investigation, Montgomery said. He said the car appeared to have been totaled, but that there was “surprisingly little damage” otherwise.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats confirmed just before 9 p.m. that “a vehicle collided with a power pole” causing the outage. The incident is still under investigation.

One reader reported that she received a robocall from PG&E saying that 1,255 people were affected by the outage.  … Continue reading »

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Homeless man arrested after daytime robbery, attempted rape of UC Berkeley student

Image: Google Maps
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Police arrested a 51-year-old homeless man after the robbery and attempted rape of a UC Berkeley student Monday, authorities said.

The incident took place at 11:30 a.m., said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, when the female Cal student was walking near Arch and Virginia streets, not far from the northern border of campus.

Coats said the man, later identified as Wilfred Allen, “approached the victim from behind and pushed her off a public walkway into a secluded grassy area. The suspect pinned the victim on the ground and when the victim attempted to scream he covered her mouth and attempted to sexually assault her.”Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley man arrested after dog theft, carjacking

The animal shelter's grand opening celebration takes place at 1 Bolivar Drive on Saturday. Scroll to the bottom of the story for details. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Police have arrested a man they say carjacked a driver in West Berkeley after breaking into the municipal animal shelter last week to steal a dog he’d been turned down from adopting.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said 36-year-old Joseph Kristian Black broke into the Dona Spring Animal Shelter last Tuesday, Oct. 21, and stole a dog he had unsuccessfully tried to adopt.

Coats said Black, a Berkeley resident, smashed a window at the shelter at 6:25 p.m. and was able to get into the building, at 1 Bolivar Dr. north of Addison Street.

“He then pried open a kennel and stole a dog that was under the care of the shelter,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police arrest felon with gun near Clark Kerr

Police arrested a man with a gun on Belrose on Thursday morning. Image: Google maps
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Berkeley Police officers arrested a 42-year-old Oakland man sitting in a vehicle with a loaded gun Thursday morning just south of UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus.

An “alert community member” called police to report what appeared to be a suspicious vehicle parked in a driveway in the 2700 block of Belrose Avenue, near Derby Street, around 6:40 a.m., said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

The caller told police the SUV, which had its lights on, did not belong to the homeowner on Belrose where it was parked.

Police responded and found a man identified as Eliexer Rodriguez sitting in the SUV, which was running. … Continue reading »

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Vandalism, crime cause problems at Allston Way Garage

The Allston Way Garage has reported an uptick in students loitering, graffiting, and engaging in sexual activity in the garage area. Photo: Franchesca Paris.
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When lunchtime at Berkeley High rolls around at 11:38 a.m., the gate on the Allston side of the Allston Way Garage comes down. Security guards stand sentry. The gate is not pushed back up until the lunch hour is over at 12:18 p.m.

Even though the closed gate is an inconvenience for potential parkers, the owners of the garage have resorted to such extreme measures because the garage has been trashed by students in the past.

In the spring, groups of high-school students loitered in the garage, painted graffiti, gambled with “large wads of cash,” smoked marijuana in the stairwells, and engaged in sexual activity with other students and occasionally prostitutes, according to Heather Scott, property manager at the Allston Way Garage. … Continue reading »

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