A surreal robbery and kidnapping experience early Friday morning left a Berkeley man with several minor injuries and without his wallet.
The series of events, in fact, sounds difficult to believe, but Berkeley Police Capt. Bobby Miller said his department took the report as a “valid claim” based on the available evidence.
Here’s what happened, according to the victim’s report.
The 28-year-old man was riding his bicycle west on Ashby Avenue around 1:30 a.m. Friday. While he waited for a red light to change at the intersection with Telegraph Avenue, a vehicle drove up alongside the man – he described it as a blue, four-door Chevrolet, perhaps a Nova – and an occupant demanded he turn over his money. The man refused. Two or three men jumped out from the vehicle, pulled the man off his bike, and put him and his bike inside the car. The report wasn’t clear on whether the bike was placed in the trunk or the back seat. The suspects also took the man’s wallet at that time.
The victim told police that his kidnappers then drove him around, and ended up “somewhere” in West Oakland. During that time, one of the suspects showed him a black semiautomatic pistol. He was also subjected to a series of punches and kicks while in the car, and he was hit in the head with some kind of hard object.
The suspects eventually dropped him off somewhere “near the freeway” in West Oakland, and they gave him back his bike. The man walked back to Berkeley with his bike, and got home between 6:30 and 7 a.m. A friend took him to Alta Bates Medical Center, where a staff member contacted police to take the report.
Miller said the victim sustained a 3- to 4-inch laceration above his left eye, a contusion on the bridge of his nose and a series of other bruises.
The man, who spoke to officers through a Spanish-speaking translator, couldn’t tell police exactly how many suspects were involved in the kidnap and robbery. He said they were Hispanic males, around 18 or 19 years old, and he thought two of them had moustaches.
The man’s wallet, which contained his identification, ATM card and just a few dollars, wasn’t recovered, Miller said.