Police in Berkeley arrested three suspects in two different robberies downtown Sunday evening within about 30 minutes, authorities report.
One of the robberies appears to have been a setup posing as a date. In the other, two good Samaritans sprung into action to help stop the culprit: One of them pepper sprayed the robber after he threw a punch at her boyfriend during his escape attempt, police said.
BPD Lt. Dave Lindenau said the first robbery was reported at about 6:40 p.m. in the 1900 block of Haste Street, near Milvia Street. A man who thought he was going to see a woman he had met on social media was instead robbed by two people. Lindenau said authorities believe the strong-arm robbery likely was a setup.
The first officer on scene was able to detain one of the suspects in the 1900 block of Dwight Way after he ran from police, Lindenau said. He was identified as one of the robbers, and police found some of the victim’s property along his flight path.
Police were then alerted that the second suspect was hiding in a car in a nearby parking lot. Lindenau said he spotted that person lying down in an associated vehicle that also contained some of the stolen property from the robbery. That person also was arrested.
As police were handling that call, BPD got a report of a robbery at about 7:10 p.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue, near Center Street. Lindenau said two people who saw the strong-arm robbery were able to intervene and stop the robber until authorities could arrive. He said it was a young man and his girlfriend who got involved.
When the young couple tried to stop the robber from getting away, Lindenau said, the robber punched the man. The good Samaritan’s girlfriend then pepper sprayed the robber. Authorities detained him at the scene, and he ultimately was arrested.
The victim was a man who ultimately was taken to the hospital for medical treatment related to injuries he sustained during the robbery, Lindenau said.
One of the robbers escaped, however, and the investigation is ongoing.
Update, 10:55 p.m. Police have confirmed the names of the people arrested Sunday evening, as well as the name of another individual arrested in a third robbery in Berkeley earlier in the day. Arrested in the Haste Street incident were Darrell Dekadmiel Finney, 27, and Christian Domonta Wallace, 22, on suspicion of robbery and receiving stolen property, both felonies. Bail for Finney is listed at $140,000, and for Wallace at $120,000. Both men, who are Berkeley residents, are scheduled for arraignment Wednesday morning at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.
Stanley Trotter, 28, was arrested after the Shattuck Avenue incident on suspicion of robbery and battery, and providing a false name to police. He is being held on $110,000 bail in the case, and also is set for arraignment Wednesday.
Lindenau said Sunday’s other robbery took place just before 3:30 p.m. at 2521 Telegraph Ave., at Kathmandu Market and Deli. A man stole a can of soda, then punched an employee in the face when the employee confronted him about it. Lindenau said the robber also resisted when police tried to arrest him at Telegraph and Haste Street.
He was identified in online booking logs as 48-year-old Kenyatta Massey, transient, arrested on suspicion of robbery and resisting arrest. He is being held on $55,000 bail and is set for arraignment Monday at Wiley Manuel, according to records online.
Update, May 7, 6:30 p.m. Police released a statement Monday about these incidents which had some additional detail.
BPD said, in the incident on Shattuck, the victim “was sitting at the bus top [sic] in front of the Bank of America at 2129 Shattuck Avenue, when he was approached by two suspects. One of them asked him about his phone and then they suddenly attacked him and took his computer bag and phone.” A man who tried to intervene was punched by one of the suspects, and then the good Samaritan’s girlfriend pepper sprayed one of the robbers in response.
“The two suspects fled … westbound on Center Street while the dynamic duo of good Samaritans chased after them. When Berkeley Police arrived on the 2000 block of Center Street the male good Samaritan pointed at the suspect he was chasing and indicated that he was one of the people responsible for the robbery,” according to BPD. That individual was identified as Trotter, who BPD said is a homeless man from Berkeley.
The second man, who has not been identified, ran northbound through the Arts Passage on Center Street. He managed to escape, BPD said. Robbery detectives ask anyone who might be able to help identify him to call 510-981-5742.
BPD also released photographs Monday of the arrested men. They have been added to this story, as have their cities of residence.
Berkeleyside will update this story as additional information becomes available.