Tag Archives: Mental health in Berkeley

Crime

Woman arrested (again) in Berkeley after arson

Police arrested a transient Berkeley woman in connection with arson Wednesday night. Photo: Paul Kealoha-Blake
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A transient Berkeley woman who’s had repeated run-ins with police in the past is back in custody Thursday after authorities say she set at least one dumpster on fire by the library Wednesday night.

Dawn Carraway, 26, was arrested just before midnight on suspicion of arson. It’s not the first time she’s been arrested in Berkeley in connection with that crime.

Berkeley Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel said reports of dumpster fires began coming into the department at 11:11 p.m. The first two reports involved dumpsters at 2424 Haste St., then Dwight Way and Dana Street.

Berkeley firefighters responded to extinguish the fires.

Just after 11:30 p.m., Frankel said an officer was ‘flagged down’ about a third fire in a concrete trash receptacle at the Central Library at 2090 Kittredge.

“After further investigation, the woman who flagged officers down about the third fire was arrested for setting that fire in front of the library,” Frankel said. “Additional investigation will be necessary to determine if she also set the first two fires.”

Carraway is being held at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $50,000. She is scheduled for arraignment Friday at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. … Continue reading »

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Thursday: Free mental health screening in Berkeley

The Ashby campus of Alta Bates Summit Hospital, where nurses will be on strike tomorrow. Photo: Lance Knobel
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Alta Bates is offering free mental health screenings in Berkeley, Oakland and online Thursday, Oct. 8, the hospital announced Wednesday.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is offering the free, anonymous screenings in recognition of National Depression Screening Day, which takes place Thursday.

According to a statement released by the hospital, one in 10 people in the United States suffers from depression.

The screenings will be offered at the Alta Bates Campus in Berkeley and at the Summit Campus in Oakland from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday. After completing a screening, participants can receive referral information to local agencies that offer further evaluation and treatment. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley police chief says Tasers would help his officers

Police Chief Michael Meehan
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Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan told the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night he believes his officers should be granted the option to carry Tasers, which are not currently allowed under city policy.

It was the first time Meehan has taken a stand on the issue in a high-profile public forum, though he said he had made similar comments in the past in smaller community meetings.

More than a dozen community members told council that Tasers should not be used in Berkeley, and shared stories from around the country about what they believed were inappropriate uses of the tool by law enforcement officers in other jurisdictions.

Tuesday evening, council received a report from researchers at the Stanford Criminal Justice Center who spent six months earlier this year looking into the issue on a pro bono basis. The researchers said, after reviewing more than 100 studies, that there are still too many unanswered questions about how Tasers are used, and that Berkeley should be cautious when considering whether to equip the local police force with them.

Berkeley is among about 2,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, out of an estimated 18,000, that do not carry the tool.

Meehan told council that he knows the issue is a controversial one, but made his position on Tasers, also known as electronic control weapons or ECWs, clear.

Read past Berkeleyside coverage related to Tasers.

“The combined body of evidence and decades-­long experience leads me to believe that the availability of ECWs is in the best interests of our employees, and our community,” he said. “I would not say this if I did not think it was in the best interests of both.” … Continue reading »

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Police

Berkeley council to hear Taser report Tuesday

The Berkeley City Council will consider asking city staff on May 6 to prepare report on the use of Tasers.   Photo: Creative Commons
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The Berkeley City Council is set to discuss a report Tuesday evening focused on the use of Tasers by law enforcement officers, and whether that might one day be appropriate in Berkeley.

Council asked the city manager to look into the issue last year, which resulted in a pro bono agreement with the Stanford Criminal Justice Center to study it. Two Stanford authors began work on their analysis in January, and completed their report in June.

According to the staff report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting, council asked for more information about “the history, potential benefits, impacts, and possible unintended consequences of allowing Berkeley police to carry and use Tasers, and to include in the report information regarding other jurisdictions ‘best practices’ and protocols, an analysis of changes in technologies, and the feasibility of doing a pilot program.” Council also asked to hear from the Police Review and Community Health commissions.

As far as possible future action, there’s no specific recommendation in the staff report, which notes that council will determine what happens next.  … Continue reading »

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Police

Update: Man comes down from sculpture after 5.5 hours

A man climbed onto the downtown Berkeley bear sculpture Saturday and refused to come down. Photo: William Newton
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Note: An update about this incident appears toward the bottom of this article.

A military veteran reportedly having a mental health crisis climbed on top of the metal bear sculpture at the downtown Berkeley BART plaza Saturday and refused to come down, community members reported.

The man climbed on top of the bear sculpture, which was installed in the plaza in March, sometime prior to 11:15 a.m.

Authorities taped off the area and were attempting to speak with the man to see how they could convince him to come down.

According to Charlie Verrette, who posted about the incident on Facebook around noon, the man was having a mental health crisis and had stopped taking his medication.Continue reading »

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Crime

Woman arrested after punching passer-by in the face

Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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A homeless woman police say punched a passer-by in the head without provocation, and injured an officer who tried to detain her, has been arrested in Berkeley for at least the fourth time since March.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said Dawn Carraway, 25, caused non-life-threatening injuries to the 66-year-old Berkeley woman she attacked.

The incident happened at 4:35 p.m. Tuesday when the victim was walking near Allston Way and Milvia Street in downtown Berkeley.

“As she was walking the suspect punched the victim without provocation,” said Coats. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, April 9-15

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 April 9-15, there were reports of two robberies16 burglaries19 assaults or batteries, no weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 13 stolen vehicles11 disturbances and 31 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. Reported incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD) included one burglary and four vandalism calls. 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, April 9

There were two home burglaries, at 11:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of Walnut Street, and at 9 p.m. in the 1700 block of Portland Avenue.

A 53-year-old Berkeley woman was hit in a crosswalk by a vehicle just after noon. She was knocked to the ground but declined transportation to the hospital, said Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats. The woman had been crossing Spruce Street at Marin Avenue when the driver turned onto Spruce from Marin and hit her. Coats said the driver, a 67-year-old Kensington man, failed to yield to the woman in the crosswalk, which was the apparent cause of the collision.

A 78-year-old Berkeley man walking on Vine Street at about 4:30 p.m. was struck in the crosswalk by a vehicle at Martin Luther King Jr. Way, according to Coats. Coats said the driver, a 73-year-old Emeryville woman, had been southbound on Martin Luther King approaching Vine when she hit the man, who had been walking east in the crosswalk. The man was taken to Highland Hospital with serious injuries. Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision. The man’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, Coats said.

There was a felony sexual assault at 6 p.m. in the 2000 block of Shattuck Avenue.

There was a commercial burglary at 6 p.m. in the 1600 block of Bonita Avenue.

Two vehicles were stolen, at 7 p.m. in the 800 block of Bancroft Way, and at 10:49 p.m. at California and Derby streets. Police arrested Shamari Thompson, 26, in connection with the second incident. He is no longer in custody but is scheduled to return to court April 27 for a preliminary examination hearing.  … Continue reading »

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Woman charged after setting toilet paper rolls on fire

Berkeley City Hall. Photo: Google Maps
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A woman who lit two toilet paper rolls on fire at Berkeley’s City Hall while a man in a wheelchair was using the restroom has been charged with a misdemeanor by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

Dawn Carraway, 25 — who has no listed home address — told police she did it because “after she lights the paper on fire, it smells like honey,” according to court papers.

Berkeley Police Officer David Marble wrote that Carraway entered a women’s bathroom at City Hall, 2180 Milvia St., last Wednesday, April 15, at 9:35 a.m. while another person was using the restroom.

She then lit the toilet paper rolls on fire, according to police. A man in a wheelchair was in the adjacent disabled stall while she did so, according to police. … Continue reading »

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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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BART promotes suicide prevention line as incidents spike

Mental health advocate Kevin Hines speaks in front of the new BART signage listing the Suicide Lifeline Number. Photo: Seung Y. Lee
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BART hosted a press conference in its downtown Berkeley station Tuesday to announce a new campaign to combat a recent spike in suicides on its train tracks. By mid-March, there had already been six crashes and five fatalities, the agency reported.

Last year, there were 14 crashes involving BART, including several incidents at the North Berkeley and downtown Berkeley stations. One incident in downtown Berkeley in November — the eighth and final BART-related fatality of 2014 — killed a UC Berkeley student. In 2013, there were six crashes, five of which were fatal.

The main feature of the campaign is station signage promoting the toll-free National Suicide Lifeline, alerting possible troubled patrons that “suicide is not the route.” The number, 800-273-TALK, directs callers to around-the-clock free, confidential counseling from suicide prevention centers in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties.  … 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 »

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Police

Man tries to jump in front of BART train in Berkeley

Two people have been rescued from the tracks since Saturday at the North Berkeley BART station. Photo: Austin Cross
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A distraught man tried to jump in front of a train at the North Berkeley BART station Sunday night, the day after another man tried to commit suicide in the same station, authorities said.

According to the BART police, a man who was “distraught over dating relationship issues” jumped onto the tracks as a train entered the station at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Michael Mighetto Hoefling said he was getting off a train when he heard a man yelling loudly. 

“Most of the people going home exited, and just as I was about to [leave] I went back down the stairs,” he said via email. Someone was screaming, and “yelling ‘a man is on the tracks.’ It was a horrific sound.”

Hoefling recorded the aftermath of the incident, mostly by audio, as the man was being pulled off the tracks by a passer-by. He described the harrowing scene to Berkeleyside.  … Continue reading »

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Police

Update: Man taken to hospital with moderate injuries after incident at North Berkeley BART; station has re-opened

The North Berkeley BART station. Photo: Ryan Anderson
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BART has closed its North Berkeley station after a report at 4:26 p.m. Saturday of a person under a train.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for updates.

According to a statement from BART, the victim was reported under a train traveling from Richmond to Fremont.

BART is attempting to get a bus bridge in place between the North Berkeley and Del Norte stations, but currently the North Berkeley station is closed and there is no service.

According to unconfirmed scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, Berkeley firefighters were dispatched to platform 2 at the North Berkeley BART station just after 4:30 p.m. after someone reportedly jumped in front of a BART train. … Continue reading »

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