Berkeley police: Man charged with threatening people at two businesses

Police recovered this BB gun during Friday’s arrest. Photo: BPD

A man who threatened to shoot up a South Berkeley barbershop because he was angry when he couldn’t get a haircut was charged with two felonies this week, according to authorities and court papers.

The man made racially-charged threats against Asians and Mexicans at two South Berkeley businesses during the altercation Friday night and brandished what looked like a handgun at employees and patrons there, according to the Berkeley Police Department. The weapon — which the man reportedly fired twice — turned out to be a realistic-looking BB gun, said BPD spokesman Officer Byron White in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry about the incident.

On Friday just before 8:30 p.m., officers responded to the 3200 block of Adeline Street, near Harmon Street, for a report of a man who had fired a gun into two adjacent businesses, White said. According to police, the man had gone to the barbershop for a haircut, then got upset when employees told him they couldn’t help him because the business was closing.

The man — later identified as 25-year-old Derrick Slade (no permanent address) — then “threatened to later come back to the store to shoot staff,” White said. “During this encounter, the suspect made several intimidating statements about the staff’s ethnicity.”


Slade, who is black, then went next door and “made intimidating/threatening statements about that staff’s ethnicity,” White said. BPD was not specific about the content of those remarks, but White said Slade was disparaging toward Asian and Mexican people inside the South Berkeley businesses.

According to BPD, Slade then walked back to the barbershop where employes saw him with that they believed to be a gun in his hand. They locked themselves inside the business as Slade fired at them twice, White said. Then he walked back to the second shop and pointed a gun at patrons inside, he said.

“When officers arrived moments later, they were able to detain the suspect on the corner of Harmon and Adeline Street,” said White. “When officers searched the suspect, they found a replica handgun (BB Gun) in his pants.”

Slade was arrested on suspicion of discharging a BB device in a negligent manner, criminal threats, public intoxication, committing a hate crime and violation of probation, White said. There was no damage to either business and no one was hurt during the incident.

Slade was charged Tuesday with two counts of criminal threats, according to Alameda County Superior Court records online. He has one prior conviction, from 2013, for having a firearm when he was prohibited by law from possessing one until he is 30 years old.

Slade remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $105,000 and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Monday at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.