Update, Feb. 12: Berkeley Police have confirmed that the man arrested Wednesday after a car chase was Darryl Clarence Blackman, 37, of Berkeley.
Original story, Feb. 10, 10:16 a.m. After a car chase through Oakland and Berkeley on Wednesday morning, authorities arrested an armed man near Ohlone Park, according to authorities.
The Oakland Police Department said on Twitter at 9:31 a.m. that the man was “responsible for multiple assaults with a vehicle on officer and citizens.” A Berkeley police officer on scene told Berkeleyside contributing photographer Bill Newton that the suspect was “a very dangerous guy.”
Also on Twitter, Lt. Chris Bolton of OPD said BPD took the man into custody in the city of Berkeley. “Vehicle is recovered, driver safely detained,” he posted at 9:22 a.m.
On Feb. 11, OPD confirmed with Berkeleyside that no gun had been found during the chase or arrest. “At this time in the investigation the gun is still outstanding. We’ve advised the community that if they locate the gun to notify local authorities,” said OPD spokesman Officer Marco Marquez.
In a Nixle alert issued at around 10:45 a.m. OPD said it received information at around 8:30 a.m. about a vehicle “being driven in an erratic manner.” They also heard of a similar vehicle that had intentionally struck another vehicle near East 23rd Street and Coolidge in Oakland. While driving to the scene, two OPD vehicles were hit by the suspect at Fruitvale and Hyde. No officers were injured during the apparently intentional effort, OPD said.
“The suspect vehicle continued to hit numerous uninvolved civilian vehicles at several different locations as the vehicle fled. One of these collisions occurred at or near 39th Ave and MacArthur where a woman was reportedly injured.”
After requesting back-up from other agencies, OPD received a report that the driver was pointing a gun at citizens in West Oakland and, at about 8:45 a.m., his vehicle was seen near 14th Street and Filbert. Officers began to chase him but then called off the pursuit, as they “weighed the speeds of the pursuit, the traffic conditions, and safety of the surrounding public against the need to immediately apprehend.”
Police found the man near the 1700 block of Hearst Avenue in Berkeley at about 9:20 a.m.
“We believe that as many as six vehicles may have been struck by this suspect at various Oakland locations. The woman injured on 39th Avenue was treated and her condition is not being reported as life threatening at this time,” OPD reported.
The statement continues: “With multiple law enforcement agencies on scene, the suspect was observed walking away from the vehicle with his hands within his pockets. The suspect, reasonably believed to be armed, initially ignored commands to be safely detained. Oakland officers with less-lethal options in addition to an armored vehicle were dispatched to the location in order to assist with the apprehension in the most tactically advantageous and safest manner possible. He was taken into custody by Berkeley Police Department officers at about 9:25 a.m.”
The driver was arrested after a “bean bag gun” was deployed, according to Stephanie Chuang of NBC Bay Area, posting on Twitter at 10:22 a.m. Chuang said the man is 55 with known addresses in Berkeley and San Pablo.
Before police detained the driver, Bolton asked witnesses on Twitter to “call 911 if damaged black or gray 4 door Mitsubishi, last 3 license plate digits of 204 seen.”
OPD reported that multiple agencies were involved in the chase — including BPD and the Alameda County sheriff’s department. Officer Sean Wilkenfeld, spokesman for CHP Oakland, confirmed to Berkeleyside that the CHP provided air support for the incident.
Bolton gave a shout-out on Twitter for the help of the different agencies involved: “You can run, but beating teamwork of Bay Area law enforcement & @CHPoakland Air support isn’t easy. Thanks for the assist,” he wrote.
Berkeleyside readers started asking about helicopters overhead as soon as they appeared. At 9:40 a.m., @loganinsky posted: “Another day, another helicopter in berkeley. hovering over n berk bart station. @berkeleyside any news?”
And, on the subject of helicopters, Eric Panzer posted this tweet, also at 9:40 a.m.: “News helicopters are like Gladys Kravitz. Even if they just witnessed something amazing, you mostly just want them to shut up.”
This story was updated as Berkeleyside sourced more information.