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Albany Police To Review Response to Stabbing Victims By Judith Scherr

Friday February 17, 2006

There were tears shared at Wednesday’s memorial for Juan Carlos Ramos, victim of a stabbing Feb. 10 at a party on Contra Costa Avenue. 

But there was also anger and frustration related to questions about police treatment of the victims. 

At the memorial, one young man’s shirt bore the statement: “Shame on the Albany police.” He declined to talk to a reporter, but others accused police of treating the victims of the stabbing as if they were perpetrators and not moving swiftly to save Ramos’ life. 

On the night of the stabbing, an uninjured driver took three youths who had been stabbed to the Albany Police Department at the intersection of San Pablo and Marin avenues. 

Albany Police Chief Gregory Bone told the Daily Planet he was looking into exactly what happened that night. On Friday nights, the small police department has only three officers on duty, he said. All three were in the field at about 11:30 p.m.; two were in the process of making felony arrests 

A lone dispatcher was at the police station, Bone said. 

“The dispatcher gets a frantic knock at the west door,” he said, relating the sequence of events as he understood them. 

Then, Bone said, the person announced through the speaker box that he had been stabbed. Soon after there was pounding at the north door and the person was saying, “We’ve been stabbed.” Then the pounding came from the east side, with a similar cry for help, Bone said.  

Bone said it was probably the same person moving quickly around to the different sides of the building. 

The dispatcher, who does not carry weapons and is not permitted to open the door at the police station, was trying to assess the situation and put the information out into the field for the officers there. 

“One officer was able to break from the field,” Bone said. “He arrives to a chaotic situation. There are several people in the parking lot. Someone is lying on the ground. There is chaos, pandemonium.” 

Bone said the officer then has to assess the situation—who are the victims? Who are the suspects? 

“From the victims’ perspective, they know who they are, but from the police perspective, things are not so clear. There’s a sorting out process,” he said. 

The Albany Police Department’s review will pinpoint the time the calls were made and the police response, Bone said. 

Meanwhile, Berkeley police still have no one in custody for the slaying and continue to speak to those who attended the party. 

“There are a couple who are working with us,” Public Information Officer Ed Galvin said Thursday, without elaborating. 

Galvin confirmed reports that the other three stabbing victims were out of the hospital and recuperating from their wounds.  

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the homicide unit at 981-5900 or leave comments on the department's website at