A Berkeley man is facing felony charges this week in connection with attacks Monday night on customers at two Southside Berkeley eateries, a pizza shop and a boba teahouse, authorities report.
Video of the teahouse attack has gone viral on Twitter, and had been viewed more than 160,000 times as of publication time.
A Twitter user named angelique posted the teashop surveillance video Monday night, writing, “oh ya know just wanted to get boba with my bf and my friends and we fucking got attacked and my friends got set on fire. no big deal.” In a later post, she urged people not to rush to judgment about the reason for the attack, writing: “please stop bringing race & hate into this. what the man did was fucked up but we also don’t know what happened beforehand and what caused him to attack us like that.”
Berkeleyside has asked her for further information but had not heard back as of publication time.
Berkeley Police spokesman Officer Byron White said BPD responded to the 2500 block of Durant Avenue at 9:35 p.m. after a man later identified as 46-year-old Brandon McGlone tried to set several people on fire.
One of the attacks took place outside of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, at 2590 Durant Ave. (at Bowditch Street), while two men were eating. A stranger approached them, White said in a prepared statement, “knocked their food off of the table and announced that he was going to light them on fire.” McGlone sprayed the men with WD-40, a flammable liquid, as they walked away, according to BPD.
But McGlone wasn’t done, White said. He walked to Feng Cha Teahouse, at 2528 Durant Ave., and sprayed two other people with a flammable substance, then lit it on fire, burning the men’s hair. Bystanders extinguished the flames quickly, White said, as other people subdued the assailant.
During the struggle, the bystanders realized McGlone was armed with a hatchet, White said. When police arrived, he said, they talked McGlone into dropping the weapon then took him into custody.
When police searched McGlone, White said, officers found “knives (including a machete), matches, lighters and several ‘Molotov cocktails.'”
During the investigation, police also learned that McGlone had set a trashcan on fire outside Kathmandu Market & Deli, about four blocks away at Telegraph Avenue near Dwight Way, 20 or so minutes before the Durant Avenue attacks.
On Wednesday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged McGlone with four counts of assault with caustic chemicals in connection with the four Southside eatery customers who were attacked; two counts of criminal threats; assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the struggle involving the hatchet; arson in connection with the trashcan fire; possession of a destructive device in connection with the Molotov cocktail; and other allegations.
In total, McGlone was charged with 10 felonies in connection with Monday’s events, according to court papers.
BPD had already been looking for McGlone in connection with a domestic violence investigation from Sept. 1, according to court records. He was charged Sept. 4 with assault with a firearm, domestic violence, child endangerment, carrying a loaded firearm, and carrying a concealed firearm in connection with that case.
According to authorities and jail records online, McGlone remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail; he is ineligible for release on bail at this time due to the most recent charges. McGlone is scheduled for arraignment Thursday at the East County Hall of Justice.