Police Blotter

By Richard Brenneman
Friday November 03, 2006

Hands off 

Rob Browning, the 66-year-old spouse of Berkeley City Councilmember Linda Maio, found himself in handcuffs Tuesday afternoon after a parking ticket dustup. 

Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Ed Galvan said Browning was arrested following an altercation with a city parking enforcement officer. 

Though charged with battery of a public safety employee, Galvan said, Browning did not strike the parking enforcer. 

“I’m sure he didn’t mean for the outcome to be like this,” said Officer Galvan. 

The parking enforcement officer was driving along Berkeley Way about 12:50 p.m. when she spotted a van in a driveway that was parked and blocking a sidewalk. 

“There was no one there, and she issued a citation. She had driven about a block away when Mr. Browning drove up and confronted her, demanding she take the ticket back,” Galvan said. 

The officer explained that she couldn’t take the ticket back, and that Browning should make his arguments in court if he wanted to contest the citation. 

“Then he stuffed it into the epaulette of her uniform and took off” said Galvan. 

Police were called, who handcuffed Browning and took him to the Public Safety Center, where he was booked. Because he had proper identification and no prior record, he was then released, Galvan said. 

“It’s pretty similar to what would happen if you shoplifted a bottle of booze at Albertson’s and didn’t have a prior conviction for shoplifting,” Galvan said. 

Browning was cited under Section 243 (b) of the California Penal Code for battery on a public safety officer committed while the officer is in pursuit of their duty. California law defines battery is an unwanted used of force or violence, and doesn’t require the act of striking the intended victim.