Man arrested after Berkeley homeless camp stabbing with ‘makeshift spear’

A man has been arrested in a stabbing at a homeless encampment that left a man with serious injuries. The camp shown here is in the general area of the incident — on Eastshore between Page and Gilman. It is not the specific location of the stabbing. Image: Google StreetView

A man sustained serious injuries when he was stabbed with a “makeshift spear” at a West Berkeley homeless encampment Thursday evening, police report.

Officers made an arrest in the case Friday afternoon, said Lt. Peter Hong of the Berkeley Police Department. The name of the arrested man was not immediately available, however, because he was taken for a mental health evaluation. Medical privacy laws limit the release of his name until he is booked into jail.

Hong said police were called Thursday at about 5 p.m. to an encampment on Eastshore Highway, between Page and Gilman streets, where two men, ages 21 and 57, had gotten into an argument about some property. Both men live at the camp, Hong said.

Hong said the 21-year-old grabbed a “makeshift spear” — made of a knife attached to the end of a metal pole — and stabbed the 57-year-old with it multiple times. The older man received serious injuries and was rushed to Highland Hospital for treatment.


Hong said the injuries were “luckily not life-threatening but very serious.”

Witnesses helped police identify the assailant, Hong said.

Officers searched numerous West Berkeley homeless encampments and ultimately found the man Friday in an industrial area of West Berkeley. They arrested him at about 2 p.m.

Berkeleyside will update this post when the man’s name and court information become available.