Man and woman attacked in unrelated stabbings in Southside Berkeley

Both victims were rushed to the hospital but were in stable condition Monday, police said. Authorities have made arrests in both cases.

The knife recovered after the Hillegass stabbing. Photo: BPD

Police arrested a man and woman after apparently unrelated back-to-back stabbings in Southside Berkeley early Saturday morning, authorities report.

One of the stabbings took place on Hillegass Avenue just south of People’s Park, police said, and the other took place in People’s Park itself. Both victims were taken to Highland Hospital with serious injuries and were in stable condition as of Monday.

According to radio traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, the man responsible for the Hillegass stabbing actually flagged down police and confessed a short time after the incident. The man flagged down Oakland police officers on Telegraph Avenue and “said he was stabbed in our city,” a dispatcher told officers over the radio, before amending her statement: “Oh, actually, correction, it looks like he is claiming he stabbed somebody in our city.”

The first incident began just after 1:45 a.m., said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesman, when three UC Berkeley students in their 20s were walking home. As they walked on Dwight Way, they were yelled at as they passed People’s Park and were then followed onto Hillegass by their assailant or assailants. Two or three people approached the men and attacked them, White said. One of the pedestrians was struck in the back of the head with a hard object and one was stabbed in the back.


The man who was stabbed was breathing when first responders arrived, according to emergency radio traffic, but “he does have a knife sticking out of his back.” The attack appears to have been unprovoked, White said. The man was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland where he underwent surgery, according to emergency traffic. White said he is expected to recover.

The man who was hit in the head was medically evaluated at the scene but did not have to be taken to the hospital, White said.

About an hour later, Oakland police in the 5900 block of Shattuck Avenue called BPD to let them know “they were in contact with a man who claimed that he had been involved in an incident at People’s Park,” White said.

Police ultimately identified that man as 28-year-old David Meier and said he had no permanent address. Meier was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the stabbing, as well as battery causing serious injury — which are both listed as felonies — as well as an outstanding arrest warrant.

According to jail records online, Meier’s warrant is related to a felony case from earlier this year where he was charged with the use of tear gas and assault with caustic chemicals. (Berkeleyside has asked the district attorney’s office for more information.) He remains in custody with a bail of $30,000 and is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, according to booking records online.

BPD released a booking photograph of Meier on Tuesday after he was charged. The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Meier with assault with a deadly weapon, as well as special allegations for causing great bodily injury, personal infliction of great bodily injury and the commission of a crime while on bail.

Woman arrested after People’s Park stabbing

While officers were investigating the Hillegass incident, they began to get reports of a stabbing in People’s Park. BPD responded to help the victim in that case — a woman in her 30s — and also located the alleged assailant in the area. Officers ultimately took the woman into custody using less-lethal force, according to radio traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside.

Initially, it was unclear whether the People’s Park stabbing reports related to the Hillegass stabbing in some way. But White said police do not currently believe the incidents are linked.

Sgt. Jacob Westlie, a spokesman for the University of California Police Department, told Berkeleyside the second stabbing happened in People’s Park at 2 a.m. Saturday. The victim, he said, is in stable condition and the case remains under investigation.

According to emergency radio traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, the woman who was stabbed had injuries to her leg as well as a “gash to the neck.” Berkeley officers had to ask repeatedly for dispatch to send in the fire department “Code 3” — immediately, with lights and sirens — for emergency medical aid.

“We need BFD Code 3 to the bathroom,” an officer advised dispatch, according to radio traffic. “This individual is down and bleeding out.” (Firefighters park as close as possible when they are dispatched to a developing criminal incident and must be advised that the scene is secure before entering the area.)

Westlie said the suspect in the People’s Park case, 27-year-old Shellena Tate (no permanent address), was taken into custody by BPD. He said he could not release a booking photo at this time.

According to booking records, Tate remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail and is facing an attempted murder charge. She is being held without bail and is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday.

UCPD asks anyone with information about the People’s Park case to contact UCPD at 510-642-6760 or police@berkeley.edu.

Note: Berkeleyside updated this story Tuesday, March 9, after charges were filed against Meier.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.