Berkeley police: Robber in respirator mask, bottle assault, stabbing, more

The Berkeley Police Department. Photo: Kaia Diringer

Berkeley saw a number of robberies and other crimes in November, many of which have been sent out as Nixle alerts by the Berkeley Police Department and the University of California Police Department. A round-up appears below, along with a more recent incident that was not part of the police narratives.

Saturday afternoon, a woman was walking south on Shattuck Avenue just after 2:30 p.m. when someone who may have been wearing “a respirator-type mask” came up behind her at Allston Way. The person grabbed her cellphone from her hand and took off, said Officer Byron White, Berkeley PD spokesman, in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry.

Police also reported at least four armed robberies in November. On Nov. 9 at 6:20 p.m., a masked male robber entered Ici Ice Cream at 2079 University Ave.: “Holding a handgun, the suspect demanded the cash from the cash register. The suspect then left the store after taking cash,” police wrote. The next night, at 10:50, a man was using his cellphone on his porch in the 1500 block of Channing Way when “two suspects approached … wearing costume masks.” One pointed a gun and demanded the man’s phone. They grabbed the phone from the man’s hands and ran away.

On Thursday, UCPD reported two back-to-back armed robberies. At about 10:20 p.m., three male suspects with a gun stole a pedestrian’s cellphone in the 2100 block of Parker Street, according to a UCPD alert. They fled northbound on Fulton and Parker streets. About five minutes later, two male and two female suspects who threatened to have a gun stole someone’s cellphone in the 2300 block of Dwight Way. The group fled westbound on Dwight Way.


Street robberies

BPD shared information about seven other robberies in November. There have been at least 22 robberies within BPD’s jurisdiction through Nov. 15, according to CrimeMapping.com. Berkeley generally averages about a robbery a day.

On Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., a man was walking his dog on Allston Way, near Sixth Street, when two people approached him and punched him in the face. They demanded his property and fled: “Though he received cuts and bruises, the man (age 49) declined medical evaluation,” BPD said.

On Nov. 5 at 10:45 a.m., someone was walking near Haste and Bowditch streets when a robber grabbed his or her cellphone from the victim’s hands. The robber fled in a nearby getaway vehicle.

On Nov. 8, just after 5:30 p.m., a woman was walking at Tremont Avenue and Woolsey Street when someone came up behind her and tried to grab her bag, police said: “As the woman struggled to hold onto her bag, the suspect continued to pull away — dragging her several feet. Unable to pull the bag away, the suspect gave up and fled — last seen running south on Tremont Street. During the incident, the woman received some minor injuries to her legs from being dragged.”

Less than five hours later, at 10:15 p.m., two people were sitting a parked vehicle at the Berkeley Marina near Seawall Drive. Four people got out of a vehicle that pulled up to them. The suspects opened the doors of the parked vehicle and took cellphones and other items from the people inside. The group threw the driver’s keys in the water before getting back into their own vehicle and driving off.

About 20 minutes later, a man was using his cellphone on Ashby Avenue just west of Martin Luther King Jr. Way when someone grabbed his phone from his hands and ran away: “The man chased after the suspect, but stopped when the man thought he was reaching into his pockets for a weapon. Officers responded to the area and located the suspect seated inside a stopped Richmond-bound BART train at the Ashby BART station.” Police identified the arrested man as 25-year-old homeless man Deaonte Deshawn Edward Brown-Swan. He was arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Booking photos: On the left, Deaonte Deshawn Edward Brown-Swan. Kaidi Clutchette is on the right. Photos: BPD

On Nov. 9 at 2:35 p.m., a woman was at the corner of University and San Pablo avenues when a man tried to grab her bag and the jacket she was holding. Officers responded and arrested 39-year-old Kaidi Clutchette of Oakland on suspicion of robbery and violation of probation.


Saturday, UCPD reported that a female student was robbed just before 1 a.m. at the Clark Kerr Campus, Building 2. Two female suspects approached the student, hit her over the head with an unknown blunt object and took her phone out of her pocket. The suspects got into an older model white Toyota Sienna minivan that went west on Parker Street and south on Piedmont Avenue.

Other incidents of note

On Nov. 3, police handled an assault with a deadly weapon call just after 11 p.m. Someone threw a bottle at the head of a 63-year-old man who had been lying on his blanket on Shattuck Avenue near Addison Street, then got into a vehicle and drove off. The man was treated at the hospital for a cut to the forehead.

On Nov. 4 at 8:10 a.m., a 25-year-old homeless man walked up to a pedestrian on University Avenue near Fifth Street and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. Officers who responded arrested David Julian Prendez on suspicion of battery, probation violation and a warrant. The victim was treated at the scene for bruises and swelling to his face.

Later that night, at 11:45, two people approached a pedestrian on Prince Street near Martin Luther King Jr. Way and started to kick and punch him: “Before the man was able to get away, he was stabbed in the shoulder,” police wrote. “The man (age 42) self-transported to a local hospital where he was treated for the stab wound and cuts/bruises on his face.”

On Nov. 13, a man tried to intervene when he saw another man breaking into a vehicle in a parking lot in the 2300 block of Bancroft Way at 10:30 p.m.: “When the witness walked over to confront the suspect about burglarizing the vehicle, the suspect pulled out a knife and pointed it at him. The suspect then ran away towards Durant Avenue.”

Stay tuned for another batch of Berkeley arrest reports, coming soon.