Updated: UC Berkeley Police Investigating Suspicious Death on University Property

By Dan McMenamin (BCN)
Wednesday July 07, 2010 - 12:22:00 PM

A 21-year-old man died after suffering a head injury near the University of California at Berkeley campus on Friday morning, but how he suffered that injury is still not clear, a police captain said today. 

UC Berkeley police responded to a report of an unconscious person in the 2500 block of Haste Street at 9:02 a.m. Friday., campus police Capt. Margo Bennett said. 

The victim, Nicholas Bailey, appeared to have suffered some sort of head trauma and was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland where he died Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Andrea Breaux said. 

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday that Bennett said will hopefully shed some light on how Bailey died. 

"Right now we do not have any information that can identify for us how he suffered his injuries," she said. "Was it an intentional infliction of injuries or was it accidental? We don't have any info that can say one way or another." 

Bailey was last seen at about 1:30 a.m. Friday at Blakes On Telegraph, a nightclub at 2367 Telegraph Ave., before being found by police several hours later, according to police. 

"I know the family wants answers about what happened to their son," Bennett said. "I'd want those same answers." 

Bailey played basketball at Holy Names University, a small Catholic university in the Oakland hills, during his freshman year of 2007-08, before transferring to California State University at Sacramento. 

Dennis Jones, men's basketball coach and athletic director at Holy Names University, said Bailey "was a good kid, worked hard. It's just sad." 

Jones said the school is holding a basketball camp this week, and "a lot of guys at the camp, they know him ... the mood is definitely a somber one." 

Campus police, rather than the city's Police Department, are handling the case because Bailey was found on university-owned property, Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said. 

Bennett declined to say where exactly Bailey was found since the investigation is ongoing. 

Investigators are asking the public for help in piecing together the events that led to Bailey's death. Anyone with information is asked to call the UC Berkeley Police Department's criminal investigations bureau at (510) 642-0472 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or (510) 642-6760 at all other times.