Trial Starts for Man Accused of Shooting Berkeley Police Officer

Bay City News
Friday September 28, 2007

More than 25 uniformed Berkeley police officers crowded into a courtroom today for opening statements in the trial of a man accused of attempting to murder Berkeley police Officer Darren Kacalek more than two years ago. 

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Michael Nieto told jurors that Howard Street shot Kacalek, now 31, in the chest with a handgun and fired another shot that grazed Kacalek’s hairline on May 17, 2005, when the officer chased Street as he fled from officers who tried to stop him for speeding with a stolen car. 

Posing and answering a rhetorical question, Nieto said, “Was it divine intervention? I don’t know.” 

Nieto said Street, a 38-year-old Berkeley resident, is charged with six felonies and said that in April and May of 2005 Street was “a one-man crime wave who was out of control.” 

Nieto said that Street is also accused of first-degree residential burglary, carjacking and assault with a firearm in connection with the May 5, 2005, robbery and shooting of 50-year-old Gerald Sims in an Oakland motel room. 

Street also faces two counts of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. 

Authorities say that Street previously has been convicted of possession of firearms, robbery and drug sales and escaped police custody in 1990 and 1997.