by Anneli Rufus
The new fall term at UC Berkeley is starting off with a violent crime wave.
Arriving to begin their academic year at a prestigious university, students hardly expect to end up being beaten by 215-pound robbers bearing clubs. VIsitors to Berkeley who simply want to enjoy cultural activities hardly expect to be threatened and robbed of their personal possessions on campus by children.
A series of bulletins received yesterday from the UC Police Department reveal a series of frightening recent encounters:
"On Thursday, September 9, 2010, at 11:50 PM, two victims were pursuing two suspects who had just stolen their laptop in front of 2301 Bancroft Way (UC Recreational Sports Facility). They chased the suspects through the parking lot that is located on the west side of Trinity Church. As they followed the suspects east on Durant Avenue, the suspects signaled to a third suspect who was sitting at the southwest corner of the church. The third suspect quickly stepped out between the fleeing suspects and the two victims to cut off the pursuit, and subsequently hit one of the victims on the back two times with a club (the club was described a being one foot in length and a half-inch in diameter).
"The third suspect then fled southbound from the scene. The other two suspects got into an older model boxy shaped, silver or gray 4-door (possibly a Honda) vehicle that was located on Durant Avenue, west of Dana Street and drove away. There was a fourth suspect that was in the vehicle sitting in the rear seat. UCPD searched the area for the suspects but were unable to locate them.
"The suspects were described as:
"Suspect #1 — A Black male, 18-22 years of age, 5’9” in height, slim build, light complexion, 160 lbs., wearing a red baseball cap, a gray sweatshirt or jacket and blue jeans.
"Suspect #2 — A Black male, 18-22 years of age, 5’9” in height, slim build, short dark hair, 160 lbs., wearing a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans.
"Suspect #3 — A Black male, 24-26 years of age, 5’10” in height, heavy build, Medium complexion, 215 lbs., wearing a bright green baseball cap, red nylon jacket and dark jeans.
"Suspect #4 — No description."
The next bulletin reads:
"On Friday, September 10, 2010, at 11:55 PM, a female victim who is not affiliated with U.C. Berkeley was walking westbound through campus from a concert she attended at the Greek Theater. As she was approaching the Star of David Bridge, located on the south side of the Life Science Addition building, she was approached by a suspect who demanded her cell phone. The suspect threatened to punch her if she did not comply. The victim gave the suspect her cell phone. The suspect then fled westbound on the Grinnell Path. UCPD searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Based on witnesses’ statements the juvenile suspect was identified. The cell phone was not recovered."
A third bulletin divulges more violence:
"On Friday, September 10, 2010, at 9:58 PM, a UC student victim was walking westbound along the Grinnell Path listening to his iPod. When the victim was just south of the Life Science Addition Building, the suspect bumped into him then pushed him with two hands. The suspect demanded the victim’s iPod and threatened to hurt the victim with physical violence.
"The victim noticed a second suspect was standing behind him as a lookout. The victim handed over his iPod and both suspects fled southbound towards Haas Pavilion. UCPD searched the area for the suspects but were unable to locate them.
"The suspects were described as:
"Suspect #1 — A Black male, 16 years of age, 5’8” in height, slim face, dark complexion, 150 lbs., wearing a white T-shirt with a white or grey jacket with the hood up, black baggy basketball shorts. The suspect had a
"Suspect #2 — A Black male, 16 years of age, 6’0” in height, short afro-style hair, dark complexion, 170 lbs., wearing a white T-shirt."
Yet another bulletin concerns yet further violence, in broad daylight.
"On Saturday, September 11, 2010, sometime between the hours of 3:30 PM and 4:30 PM, a non-UC affiliated victim was on Tightwad Hill watching the Cal football game. The victim was tapped on the shoulder. When he turned around to see who tapped him on the shoulder, the unknown suspect punched him in the jaw.
"The victim fell to the ground, but did not lose consciousness. He did not remember seeing any weapons. The suspect then fled down the hill and out of sight. The victim did not initially report the incident to the police. It was not until later, he discovered he sustained an injury to his jaw and was treated at Summit Hospital in Oakland.
"The suspect was described as:
Suspect #1 — A White male, 21 years of age, 6’0” in height, 190 lbs., no clothing description. The suspect was further described as a 'Cal Student' type."
What is this, the Wild West?