Teenagers Arrested in Downtown Fight; Arrests Made in West Berkeley Shooting

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday January 08, 2010 - 10:05:00 AM

Berkeley police arrested a 16-year-old girl in front of the Shattuck Hotel Wednesday for hitting a boy with a hammer. 

Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Andrew Frankel said the fight broke out around 4:15 p.m. outside the hotel at Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way. He said the girl struck the boy, a 17-year-old Berkeley resident, repeatedly with a purse containing a hammer.  

Frankel said that Berkeley police arrived at the scene and arrested the girl, a resident of Vallejo, and transported her to the Alameda County Juvenile Hall. 

Berkeley police charged the girl with assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence with physical injury. Frankel declined to comment on the nature of the teenagers’ relationship except to say that “they had been in a relationship at some point.” 

The boy suffered minor injuries and was taken to Highland Hospital, where he was evaluated and released the same day, Frankel said. 

Frankel would not comment on whether the teenagers were Berkeley High School students. Although Richard Ng, assistant to Berkeley High principal Jim Slemp, said the two were Berkeley High students, the school’s safety officer, Billy Keys, said they were not. 

“If they were Berkeley High students we would have heard from the police, and we have not,” Keys said. “I am 99.9 percent sure they were not from Berkeley High.” 

Ng said the incident had taken place outside of school hours and had coincided with a fire alarm going off on campus. 

“There was a lot of chaos and confusion and we had to evacuate whatever students were left inside the building,” he said, directing inquiries to the school’s resource officer Mitch Collins. Collins did not return calls for comment. 

Although Frankel did not want to elaborate on whether eyewitnesses had been present at the scene outside the Shattuck Hotel, a former Berkeley High parent who saw the action said the place was teaming with Berkeley High students and police officers. Two fire trucks and an ambulance were also present at the scene, according to the parent, who wanted to remain anonymous. 

The parent also said that managers of the Shattuck Hotel had handed over surveillance tape of the incident to the police officers. She said some Berkeley High students who had witnessed the incident had refused to cooperate with police. 

Calls to district officials for comment were not returned by press time. 


West Berkeley shooting 

Berkeley police have arrested two of three suspects involved in a shooting incident at San Pablo Avenue and Murray Street Jan. 4. 

According to Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Officer Andrew Frankel, an unidentified male suspect got out of a car which stopped in the northbound lanes of San Pablo at 3:46 p.m. Monday and opened fire on two men crossing the street. 

One of the two men pulled out a handgun and fired back, striking an unknown vehicle. The lone suspect who fired the first shot got back into his car and fled northbound. Police are still looking for him. The two pedestrian suspects ran north on San Pablo and were later detained by police. 

They were identified by Berkeley police as 21-year-old Dennis Northington and 23-year-old Britton Ferguson. Both were charged with assault with a deadly weapon, shooting into an occupied vehicle and violation of probation. They are being held at Santa Rita Jail. Northington was charged with possession of cocaine. 

Frankel said no one was injured in the crossfire.