Man Arrested in Aquatic Park Murder

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday November 13, 2009 - 11:39:00 AM
Curtis Martin III
Curtis Martin III

Oakland police arrested Curtis Martin III at Chestnut Street and 24th Avenue in Oakland a little after 1 p.m. Friday for his alleged involvement in this morning’s Aquatic Park homicide. 

The park became the scene of Berkeley’s fifth homicide early Friday morning when a woman’s body was found at its southern end. 

Detectives learned of Martin’s alleged involvement through their ongoing investigation. According to Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Andrew Frankel, this information was sent out as a “Be On the Look Out” bulletin to neighboring agencies. 

Martin, 38, is an Oakland resident. 

Frankel said Friday morning that part of the park would probably remain closed until later this afternoon. 

Detectives are continuing to examine the crime scene for additional evidence while attempts are being made to identify the victim’s next of kin, Frankel said. 

A patrol officer conducting a routine security check shortly after 4 a.m. found the body of an adult female lying on the shoreline adjacent to the parking lot on Bolivar Drive north of Potter Street. 

Frankel said the victim has not yet been identified and that detectives are still examining the scene for evidence. 

A Berkeley resident who works at the park and did not want to be identified said that the crime scene was right at the entrance to the park. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

“The woman was shot twice, they needed a place to dump the body and they dumped it there,” he said. “It’s not the first time a body has been dumped there. I think the last time it happened was eight years ago. A lot of people dumps things in the park because no one can see it, so you can do whatever you want there.” 

Police would not confirm that the victim had been shot. 

Anyone with any information on this crime is urged to call the Berkeley Police Department’s Homicide Detail at 981-5741 (office) or 981-5900 (non-emergency dispatch line). Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call the Bay Area Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).