Is it just that time of year again? Three high-school-aged students were arrested Thursday after fights broke out among youth in downtown Berkeley, authorities said.
Berkeleyside was reporting similar news last year in April.
Lt. Alyson Hart, the Berkeley Police watch commander Thursday evening, said there had been some type of disturbance at lunch involving Berkeley High School students, leading school and police authorities to be on alert when BHS let out due to rumors that problems would continue.
Not long after school ended for the day, at 3:30 p.m., Hart said police received numerous reports of youth fighting downtown. There were multiple groups of students who were “running around everywhere.”
Originally, the BART Police asked for help to handle reports of fighting on the platform at the downtown Berkeley station.
“There were a bunch of little different skirmishes or reports,” Hart said. “Around City Hall also.”
Officers responded to one of those incidents, at Center Street and Shattuck Avenue, where it appeared a fight was on the verge of breaking out. When officers arrived, the crowd turned its attention to them, Hart said.
At one point, shortly after 4 p.m., an officer called over the police scanner for Code 3 cover, or immediate back-up due to a potentially dangerous situation.
A juvenile and an 18-year-old were arrested at that location on suspicion of assault on a police officer, said Hart. Both were taken into custody. The juvenile was taken to the Alameda County Juvenile Hall in San Leandro.
Nearby, at Allston Way and Shattuck, police arrested another juvenile for creating a disturbance. That person was released to parents, Hart said.
Officers remained in the area to keep order, even after the arrests, until the disturbances died down. Hart said it’s not the first time in recent weeks there have been similar incidents downtown involving high-school-aged youth.
Around the same time as the youth disturbances, nearby at 2121 Allston Way, police were called to a protest at the Jewish Federation where 30-40 people were demanding an end to the occupation, by Israel, of Palestine and other areas. Hart said protestors blocked traffic for 10-15 minutes but then packed up and left without further incident.
Hart said that, though her information was preliminary, she was not aware of involvement Thursday by students from schools outside Berkeley.
As of late Thursday night, Berkeley High School administrators had not sent out any email communication about the incidents or arrests earlier in the day.
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