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Press Release: Suspect Accused of Deliberately Injuring Berkeley Police Officer with His Car

From Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, Berkeley Police Department
Tuesday March 01, 2011 - 09:34:00 PM

At about 4:38, the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) received a call regarding the theft of a wallet from Ecole Bilingue French School in the 1000 block of Heinz Avenue in West Berkeley. A witness provided a description of the suspect and car to a BPD dispatcher who broadcast it to BPD officers. Suspects often use debit/ATM and credit cards soon after their crimes, thus officers began doing area checks of convenience marts and gas stations. 

A 4 year veteran of BPD spotted the suspect and his white Volvo pumping gas at the Econo Gas Station at Eighth Street and University Avenue. The BPD officer approached the suspect on foot and engaged him. The suspect reacted by trying to get into the Volvo with the officer attempting to stop him. The suspect was able to drive forward, then accelerate in reverse and drive forward which hurled the officer to the pavement. The suspect then fled. Officers initiated a pursuit south in West Berkeley. The suspect abandoned the car near Bayer at 7th and Dwight and began running. Two BPD officers chased him on foot and were able to detain him without further incident. 

The officer was tended to by City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) paramedics who transported him to a local ER for medical assessment. As of this writing, he is doing well and sustained no apparent significant injuries. Out of respect to the officer who is healing and family may not know of the details as of yet, we are not offering his name today. BPD is relieved that the officer was not more seriously injured. In addition, we are grateful that the suspect did not injure any other community members or officers during the pursuit and subsequent foot chase. 

BPD arrested an Oakland man, 32 years old. The booking offenses are pending and the investigation is still in process. 

This is the substance of what BPD is sharing regarding the incident this evening.