Tuesday December 14, 2004

Reporter’s Car Stolen 

Daily Planet reporter Matt Artz stepped out his front door last Wednesday to discover that his faithful Honda Accord had been stolen. 

His insurance provides a temporary rental car, and the one available in the specified price range was a Dodge Dakota pickup, which he duly rented. 

Then came the news that General Motors had recalled the Dakota. 

Finally, a preoccupied motorist bumped into the agile reporter as he was crossing Ashby Avenue Monday morning. Fortunately, he was able to leap out of the way, and was struck only a glancing blow by the car—whose driver rolled down his window and cursed at him as he departed the scene. 


Vandal Hits Landmarked Church 

A vandal smashed a small pane in one of the windows of Berkeley’s most famous landmark, architect Bernard Maybeck’s First Church of Christ, Scientist at 2619 Dwight Way. 

A church member discovered the damage early Thursday morning. 

Police were unable to determine how the damage was done and have no suspects in the crime, said Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Joe Okies.  


Cab Jacker Busted 

A 50-year-old man opted for a do-it-yourself cab ride Thursday evening, pulling a knife on the driver near the corner of Queens Road and Fairlawn Drive. 

After the driver departed, the man headed for the hills, where police arrested him and recovered the stolen vehicle on Grizzly Peak Road.  

The ride could end up costing the suspect considerably more than the fare, as officers booked him on suspicion of carjacking, a crime that carries a prison sentence of from three to nine years. 


Gunman Grabs Purse 

A gunman in his late teens approached a 38-year-old woman near the corner of Gilman and Fourth streets shortly before 8 p.m. Friday and demanded she hand over her purse. 

The woman complied and the bandit split. 


Stupid is as Stupid Does 

When an anonymous caller phoned in a tip of a purported drug deal underway at Allston Way and San Pablo Avenue, officers dispatched to the scene were greeted by a belligerent fellow who showed his discontent by attacking one of the officers. 

The 30-year-old man was arrested on charges of battery on, and willful obstruction of, a peace officer. 


Robber Thumps Victim, Flees 

Two felons in their 20s approached a man in the 2400 block of Haste Street shortly after 11 p.m. Friday and demanded he fork over his money, 

The man refused, and one of the pair thumped him on the head before the duo departed, sans loot. 

Hammer Whammer 

A dispute between two South Berkeley men took a nasty turn Saturday morning when one of them pulled out a ballpeen hammer and struck the other in the leg. 

The 45-year-old victim identified his assailant to police, who are actively on the lookout for him, ready to make an arrest on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. 


Melee at the Med 

Police were summoned to the Caffe Mediterraneum at 2445 Telegraph Ave. 3:30 Saturday afternoon, where they found at least 10 fellows embroiled in fisticuffs. 

Before the dust settled, a 62-year-old disputant had pulled a blade and inflicted a minor stab wound on one of his fellows. 

The injured man was treated at the scene by Berkeley Fire Department paramedics and the knife-wielder was hauled off to the pokey, where he was booked for assault with a deadly weapon. 



A 30-year-old man threatened two women and invited them to lend him assistance after they spotted him masturbating in the 1900 block of Russell Street about 6:15 p.m. Sunday. 

Police were summoned, and they arrested the fellow on two charges each of solicitation to engage in lewd conduct in a public place and uttering “offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.” 


“Blade” Meets Gun 

A cinema buff watching a showing of the vampire flick Blade Trinity at the Shattuck Avenue Cinema Saturday evening noted that a fellow seated nearby appeared to be packing holstered heat. 

After receiving a strange answer to his question of why his fellow theatrical patron appeared to be armed, the citizen called police. 

When officers arrived, they discovered that the 25-year-old cineaste was indeed carrying a 9-mm semiautomatic pistol. 

The man was booked on one charge each of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded weapon. 


Spat Ends in Assault Busts 

An argument in a pickup truck between a 40-year-old man and his 40-year-old female companion took a serious wrong turn shortly after noon Sunday. 

One of the pair called police to Second and Gilman streets, where things got complex. 

The woman said the man had tried to run her down after she got out of the truck in the course of the verbal altercation, and that man said the woman smashed a truck window and stabbed him with a nail file. 

Their stories earned each of them an arrest on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, said Officer Okies.›