Crime roundup: Man stomped during robbery, reckless driving arrest, more

Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeleyside regularly reports on notable Berkeley crimes, which include incidents that involve violence or weapons, or that readers have asked about. In 2018, the Berkeley Police Department handled about 73,000 incidents and made more than 2,000 arrests. Every month, there are 200-300 Part 1 crimes in Berkeley. Most Part 1 crimes, which are the categories tracked by the FBI, are serious felonies. Arrestees are innocent until proven guilty.

STREET ROBBERY A 24-year-old Berkeley man was walking Friday just before 11:40 p.m. when a group of young men came up to him and attacked him, according to BPD. The man was walking in the 1100 block of Dwight Way when four or five people “came from behind him and grabbed him by his backpack,” police said. The assailants “threw the man to the ground and began kicking/stomping and punching him.” Then they took his backpack and left. The victim was taken to a local hospital with a head injury. Witnesses described the attackers as black men, about 20 years old, 5’6″ to 5’8″ tall with thin builds. One of them wore a red shirt and black pants.

MAN ARRESTED AFTER HIT-AND-RUN Saturday night, police arrested an Oakland man after seeing him speeding around and blowing red lights downtown, BPD reports. An officer saw the man driving recklessly just before 11:30 p.m., then stopped him at University Avenue and Oxford Street a short time later, according to BPD: While detaining the driver, police discovered he had “just fled the scene of a nearby injury-collision” where he had rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped at a signal. Police identified the driver as 20-year-old Joseph Urquides. He was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving and hit and run resulting in injury.

ATTEMPTED STREET ROBBERY A 28-year-old Berkeley woman was walking on the sidewalk at Ohlone Park last week Tuesday, June 18, just before 11:40 a.m. when a woman ran up to her and tried to grab her laptop, which she was carrying in one arm. There was a brief struggle and the stranger ran off, without the computer, westbound on Hearst Avenue near McGee Avenue. BPD said witnesses described the stranger as a black woman, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, with a medium build and her hair in a bun.


CELLPHONE ROBBERY AND ARREST Police arrested a 19-year-old man after he punched a 65-year-old Berkeley resident in the face at the library and took two cellphones from him, authorities report. Sunday at 3:55 p.m., the Berkeley man put two phones down on the table near him on the third floor of the Berkeley Public Library, at 2090 Kittredge St. According to BPD, the 19-year-old saw the phones and took them, then tried to leave on the elevator. The older man “confronted the suspect at the elevator and yelled for others to call the police.” The 19-year-old punched the older man in the face and walked off. But police found him nearby, in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue, and identified him as Terell James Oliver (no permanent address provided). He was arrested on suspicion of robbery, elder abuse and violation of his probation. Oliver remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail, with a bail of $150,000, and is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.

CAFÉ LAPTOP THEFT A 36-year-old Berkeley man was working at his computer Wednesday at Philz Coffee, at 1313 Ninth St., when a man ran up to him and grabbed the computer from the table. The stranger was last seen driving away in a red sedan. Witnesses described him as a black man in his 20s.

CRIME STATS THROUGH SUNDAY In the past four weeks, there have been 22 violent Part 1 crimes* reported in Berkeley: 12 robberies, six rapes and four aggravated assaults. There have been 226 violent Part 1 crimes reported in 2019. On the property crime side, there have been 234 reported in the past four weeks: 158 thefts, 39 auto thefts, 36 burglaries and one arson report. For the calendar year, there have been 1,548 Part 1 property crimes reported. Of the burglaries in the past four weeks, 23 were home burglaries and 13 were commercial. Of the theft reports, 24 were grand theft, 77 were petty thefts and 57 were auto burglaries, according to BPD data.

* These numbers are preliminary calls for service and may change as a result of investigations.