Man shouting about ‘wrath of God’ arrested during fraternity break-in

Residents locked themselves in their rooms while they waited for police to arrive. The man was ultimately arrested on suspicion of burglary and sent for a psychiatric evaulation.

Channing Way police incident. Image: Google Maps

Berkeley police responded to a Channing Way fraternity on Tuesday afternoon after a man yelling about the “wrath of God” forced his way inside, causing residents to lock themselves in their rooms for safety.

The incident in Southside Berkeley, near Channing Way and Piedmont Avenue, began at about 12:10 p.m. when multiple callers told police about the intruder, said Officer Byron White, Berkeley Police Department spokesman.

Neighbors called police to report the break-in, as did callers inside the 22-unit fraternity house, according to police radio traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside. The man, who appeared to be in his 50s, had kicked a hole in the front door and then used a fire extinguisher to break a window to get inside, White said.

People hiding inside the fraternity told police they could hear the sound of shattering glass, White said. And they heard the man rambling to himself, yelling about the “wrath of God.”


There were approximately five people inside the house when the break-in happened, according to preliminary radio traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside. Residents locked themselves in their rooms as they waited for police. At least one caller told police the man had a knife.

When officers entered the residence, they found the man in the kitchen close to a set of knives, White said. He would not follow police orders, White said, and officers ultimately shot him in the thigh with a foam baton round to take him into custody.

Police arrested the 51-year-old man at the scene on suspicion of burglary.

The Berkeley Fire Department assessed the man at the scene; he had cuts on his arms from broken glass, but no other notable injuries, White said. The man was then taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.


No additional information was available about him pending that evaluation.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso.