Press Release: Driver Arrested after Evading Police

From Lieutenant Kevin Schofield, Berkeley Police Department
Sunday March 27, 2011 - 07:29:00 PM

On 3/18/11, Berkeley Police Officers investigated of report of a robbery and assault with a deadly weapon at a grocery store in Berkeley. As a result of that investigation, the getaway vehicle, a 1996 Honda Passport, was entered into the computer system as a wanted “Felony Vehicle”. 

On 3/25/11, Berkeley Police Officers spotted the Honda in South Berkeley. The SUV drove a couple blocks to the 1500 block of Stuart Street and pulled into a residential driveway where officers initiated an enforcement stop to detain the driver. 

The driver refused all orders from the officers to comply while revving the Honda’s engine. The driver then put the vehicle in reverse and rammed into one of the police cars. After pulling forward, the driver again put the car in reverse and struck a support column of the apartment building staircase, narrowly missing a police officer. Still in reverse, the driver struck the apartment building and the same police car a second time. In the continued efforts to get away, the driver sped over a lawn and collided with yet another police car, making it inoperable. Two other police officers were nearly struck as well. As the driver fled east on Stuart Street, she then aimed her vehicle at a responding police car, nearly crashing head on.  

The driver fled north on California Street, just past Dwight Way where she turned into a driveway of home. The driver crashed though a wooden fence and fled on foot. She was pursued on foot by several officers and was successfully taken into custody after a brief struggle. No one was injured in these incidents. 

The arrested person was identified as: Vanessa Williams, 24 years old, from Berkeley. She was transported and booked into the Santa Rita Jail for a total of ten violations including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run, resisting arrest and violating probation. Berkeley Police are still investigating the original robbery and assault from the grocery store.