Police Blotter

By Richard Brenneman
Friday January 26, 2007

Victim clings to life 

A 42-year-old homeless woman is behind bars today, charged with a Sunday beating that has left a 47-year-old man unconscious and clinging to life in a local hospital. 

“The victim is in critical condition and on life support,” Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Ed Galvan said Thursday afternoon. 

Police first learned of the attack about 7:30 p.m. when a cell phone caller reported a woman apparently beating a duffel bag or a sleeping bag near the Ashby BART station. 

Moments later, other callers reported that the woman was beating a man with her cane. 

“When officers arrived, they found the victim on the ground and suffering from serious head trauma near the corner of Essex and Adeline streets,” said Officer Galvan. “The woman had already taken off.” 

A young officer undergoing field training was able to identify the woman from witnesses’ descriptions and after a search was able to apprehend her a few blocks away. 

“She was taken to our jail and was arraigned yesterday on a charge of attempted murder,” said Officer Galvan. “She is presently in custody at the Santa Rita jail.” 

The suspect is identified as Sharon Sandford. Police are asking anyone with information about the crime other suspect to call the Berkeley Homicide Detail at 981-5741. 


Cellular punchers 

Berkeley officers arrested two suspects, one a juvenile and the other a 38-year-old Richmond man, after they allegedly beat and robbed a homeless man of his cell phone in the 1300 block of University Avenue just after midnight on Jan. 10. 

Officer Galvan said the victim flagged down a passing patrol car, and a quick search of the area turned up the suspects, who were booked on suspicion of robbery. 


Fires, misses 

A frustrated robber, rebuffed in his effort to rob an 18-year-old Berkeley man near the corner of Oregon Street and McGee Avenue just before 9 p.m. on the 10th, left with a parting shot—literally. 

“He fired one round from inside his car, but he missed,” said Officer Galvan. 


Botched heist 

Two 17-year-olds, one from Antioch and the other from Vallejo, were arrested by Berkeley police just after 1:30 a.m. on the 12th after they tried and failed to rob a 19-year-old Berkeley man of his wallet. 

The incident occurred near the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way, and quick response by police led to the arrests of both suspect. The youths were taken to juvenile hall. 


Argument turns violent 

An argument between a 43-year-old Berkeley man and a 25-year-old Ukiah man early on the morning of Jan. 15 left the Berkeley man worse for wear after the younger man clocked him in the cranium. 

The miscreant was gone by the time police arrived, and remained at large until the following afternoon when the Berkeley man spotted him in the same neighborhood, accompanied by a girlfriend. 

Forgetting the lesson of the previous day, the older man decided to make a citizen’s arrest, only to be bashed in the beezer once again, this time by the younger man’s skateboard, and assailed by the fellow’s companion as well. 

But Berkeley police were promptly on the scene, and captured the belligerent couple. The young man was charged with battery and assault with a deadly weapon and his companion, a 28-year-old Berkeley woman, was busted for battery. 

Paramedics treated the injured man at the scene. 


Pocket pistol 

A young man with a pistol visible in his pocket robbed a 35-year-old Oakland woman of her purse as she was walking near the corner of Alcatraz Avenue and Adeline Street just after 7 a.m. on the 15th, said Officer Galvan. 

The fellow had fled in a large green vehicle by the time police arrived. 


Dominos delivers. . . 

Cash, that is. 

A gang of four teen toughs, all clad in dark garb, used their fists to pound the cash out of a pizza deliveryman they accosted shortly before 10:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of Newberry Street on the 15th. 

“They didn’t take pizza,” said Officer Galvan, unlike Berkeley’s previous pizza delivery heist where the baddies went for the pie instead of the dough. 


Grocery heists 

Berkeley police believe the 17-year-old Berkeley youth they arrested after a holdup at the Grocery Outlet in the 2000 block of Fourth Street on the 16th may be part of a gang that has pulled off similar heists throughout the Bay Area. 

Officer Galvan said a store employee called while three armed men were inside the store pulling off the caper. 

Multiple prowl carts rolled to the scene in time to spot one of the suspects fleeing near the corner of Fifth and Delaware streets. 

Officers cordoned off the surrounding area, briefly spotting the young man, who quickly retreated. 

Oakland police chipped in with a K-9 unit, and it didn’t take the dog long to find the suspect, who was quickly clapped in handcuffs and hauled off to jail. 

“We are currently investigating to see if this is the same gang that has pulled off similar robberies at grocery stores in El Cerrito, Napa, Pinole and San Francisco,” said Officer Galvan. 


Home invasion 

A masked man packing a pistol burst into a residence near the corner of 10th and Delaware streets about 1:30 on the morning of Jan. 19, threatened the lone occupant and made off with three phones, a laptop computer and her wallet. 


Keeps purse 

A 58-year-old Berkeley woman hung onto her purse, even after a young gunman bashed her in the head during an attempted robbery at 8:16 a.m. on the 19th, reports officer Galvan. 

The incident happened on College Avenue near Woolsey Street. 


Bandits busted  

Berkeley police caught two teens red-handed after they robbed a 61-year-old Berkeley man of his backpack, cell phone and wallet outside a laundry in the 2900 block of Sacramento Street seconds after midnight on the 17th, reports Officer Galvan. 

Officers arrived moments later and found the youths still in possession of their loot. They were hauled off the juvenile hall. 


Another keeper 

A 23-year-old Oakland woman, armed with a loud scream, managed to fend off a gang of four hoodie-clad teens who attempted to seize her purse as she walked along Adeline Street near the 62nd Street intersection minutes before midnight on the 17th. 

Officer Galvan said neighbors who heard the screams called police. The boy bandits had boogied by the time officers arrived. 



Though he stood only about 5’7” there was something menacing about the young man who approached a 20-year-old Berkeley man as he walked along Euclid Avenue at Ridge Road just before 8:30 p.m. on the 19th. 

Told he’d be beaten if he didn’t hand over his cash, the Berkeley man complied, and no fists flew. 



Police arrested a 52-year-old San Francisco man on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after a knife attack on a Berkeley man, 48, in the 1800 block of San Pablo Avenue just after midnight Saturday. 

Police responded quickly, and nabbed one suspect, though a second suspect eluded them. 

The victim sustained only a minor injury and refused the assistance of paramedics. 


Shelled out 

An angry man who claimed to have a gun convinced the clerk at a Shell Station in the 3000 block of Ashby Avenue to hand over her purse after he cleaned out the cash drawer just before 8:15 p.m. Sunday. 

The suspect then fled in a dark blue American sedan.