Berkeley homicide detectives responded to a call Friday from the daughter of an 84-year-old man found dead in his home after he apparently bled to death from a puncture wound to the leg.
Lt. Russell Lopes of the Berkeley Police said the man had somehow impaled his left calf with a wooden gardening stake while tending his tomatoes Thursday.
“We have no idea how it happened,” he said.
The Alameda County coroner determined that the death was accidental, and guessed the man somehow punctured his leg by falling or kneeling into it.
Lopes said that the man quickly pulled out the wooden stake because it was found close to the beginning of the blood path.
Lopes said the man was probably in shock because the blood path indicated that he walked around the yard before finally making it to the bathroom of his home.
There, he took of his shoes and socks and appeared to be attempting to tend to the wound before he succumbed to blood loss.
Lopes said the man’s daughter found him around 4:30 p.m. Friday after she became concerned about her father’s whereabouts.