Southside Rapist Strikes in Apartment Building Lobbies

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday August 07, 2007

Berkeley police are seeking a suspect in two Southside rapes, one on July 6 and the other Aug. 2. 

In both instances, the attacker managed to enter the secured lobby of an apartment building, where he targeted and raped an Asian American woman. 

“This is very unusual,” said Berkeley Police Lt. Wesley Hester Jr. “Both of these happened in the daytime, and both involved strangers.”  

Most rapists are known to their victims, and most occur at night—and not in apartment house lobbies. 

“We think the same person was involved in both,” he said. “We are interviewing witness and we are getting some leads.” 

The first attack occurred at about 3 p.m., in the lobby of an apartment building in the 2500 block of Hillegass Avenue, and the second attack happened about 6 p.m. in a lobby in the 2100 block of Haste Street. 

The suspect is described as a thin, well-dressed, dark-skinned African American in his late 20s, who wears his hair in shoulder-length dreadlocks or twists. 

Hester urged anyone with any information about the attacks to call BPD’s Sex Crimes Detail at 981-5735. 

Residents should be aware of their surroundings and avoid speaking on cell phones or listening to recorded music while walking in areas where attackers could be lurking, including alleys, doorways, parking lots and stairwells, the department urged in a bulletin on the attacks. 

The department also urges potential victims not to walk or jog alone whenever feasible.