Man charged with stabbing 21-year-old UC Berkeley student

“My son got lucky,” the father of the student told Berkeleyside on Wednesday. “This could happen to anyone.”

The knife recovered after the Hillegass Avenue stabbing. Photo: BPD

The man who was charged this week with stabbing a 21-year-old UC Berkeley engineering student in the back Saturday is also facing felony charges for allegedly macing his own mother in December, court papers show.

David Meier, 29, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and was scheduled for arraignment in the new case Wednesday morning, according to county court records online. Meier has no permanent address, police said.

“This is every parent’s fear,” the father of the Cal student who was stabbed told Berkeleyside on Wednesday. “I like the university but I never knew it was so unsafe.”

Early Saturday morning, before the attack, the student and his housemates had taken a break from studying to grab a bite to eat at the Taco Bell Cantina on Durant Avenue in the Southside neighborhood where they live.


When the students passed People’s Park on their way home, according to preliminary reports, they were yelled at by some individuals there who then began to chase them. The students were then attacked by one or more individuals on Hillegass Avenue just south of the park shortly before 2 a.m., police said.

One of the students was struck in the head by an assailant with a metal pole of some kind, police said, and the 21-year-old was stabbed in the back.

Police said the 10-inch knife used in the stabbing had a 5-inch hooked blade. When first responders found the wounded student, the knife was still in his back, buried to the hilt.

The young man underwent surgery at Highland Hospital to remove the knife and has now flown home, out of state, to recover and catch up on the schoolwork he’s had to miss, his father said.

“My son got lucky,” his father told Berkeleyside. “This could happen to anyone. These are the reasons that we need strong police training and more police budget. The answer is not to just do away with the police.”

David Meier was out on bail at time of stabbing

An hour after the Berkeley stabbing, according to court papers, Oakland officers detained Meier in the 5900 block of Shattuck Avenue in connection with a separate incident.

“During their detention, Meier made a spontaneous statement that he had just stabbed someone in Berkeley at ‘The Park,'” according to court documents. “Meier was remorseful in his actions, and stated he wished things did not happen as they did.”

Meier told police he had stabbed the other man in self-defense, according to court records.

Police said Meier had been riding a bicycle as he followed the students and was “harassing them” just before the stabbing.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged David Meier with a single felony, assault with a deadly weapon — identified as a knife — along with special allegations that the stabbing caused great bodily injury and that Meier committed the new crime while out on bail for an open criminal case, according to court records.

Berkeleyside reviewed the earlier case, which involved an incident in Fremont at Meier’s home on Dec. 30, 2020, according to court papers. Police said Meier fought with his mother that day, punching her in the back of the head and later spraying her in the face with mace when she called police, according to court records. In January, he was charged with two felonies in connection with that incident: use of tear gas and assault with caustic chemicals.

According to court papers, Meier has one felony conviction, from 2012, for grand theft from a person.

Meier’s next court date was not listed in court records online as of publication time. No bail amount was listed either.

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