Berkeley police discover guns, make arrests during 2 traffic stops Saturday

Berkeley map with traffic stops
Police recovered two guns and a BB gun during car stops in Berkeley on Saturday. Image: Google Maps/Berkeleyside

Officers confiscated two loaded guns and a BB gun, and arrested three people, during several incidents in West Berkeley on Saturday, authorities report.

The first arrest involved a man waving a gun around early Saturday morning, and the other arrests resulted from traffic stops, police said.

Officers were driving at San Pablo and University avenues just before 12:20 a.m. when they saw a man waving around what appeared to be a firearm, said Lt. Dave Lindenau of the Berkeley Police Department.

When police tried to take the man into custody at gunpoint, he put his gun into his pocket and did not immediately comply, Lindenau said.


Once police managed to arrest him, they got a closer look at the firearm and saw it was a BB gun, he said. They arrested Dametrus Lewis, 48, on suspicion of altering an imitation firearm and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

“He’s lucky we didn’t have a shooting that night,” Lindenau said.

Lewis, who is on probation, is being held at Santa Rita Jail on $7,500 bail and is set for arraignment Tuesday, according to court records online.

Several hours later, at 3:35 a.m., police made a car stop related to vehicle code violations at Sacramento Street and Ashby Avenue. Lindenau said police noticed the driver, 39-year-old Jerald Simpkins Jr., showed signs of intoxication.

During a search of the vehicle, officers found a loaded firearm. Police arrested Simpkins on suspicion of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, and three felonies related to the concealed, loaded gun.

Simpkins remains in custody at Berkeley Jail on $125,000 bail, according to booking records online. He is set for arraignment Monday.

The next stop took place just before 7:40 p.m. at San Pablo and Folger avenues. Police noticed a traffic violation and pulled over 53-year-old Budell Murray, said Lindenau.

During the stop, police saw and smelled marijuana in the vehicle. During a search, police found Murray to have a loaded pistol, Lindenau said. Officers also found her to be in possession of methamphetamine, he said.

Murray was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance while armed and having a forged or altered vehicle registration, both felonies, along with several misdemeanors related to the loaded gun and controlled substances, according to jail records online.

Murray is being held on $100,695 bail at Berkeley Jail. She is set for arraignment Monday morning.