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After a car chase with the Berkeley police in the early hours of Oct. 23,  the attempted murder suspect crashed this 2003 Ford Explorer into a tree on the Alameda, north of Hopkins Street. The vehicle’s right side was sheared open by the impact with the tree. Photo: Berkeley Police

Berkeley police officers arrested a suspect in an apparent attempted murder case early Wednesday morning, following a pursuit in which the suspect struck a police car, and later crashed into a tree in North Berkeley, destroying his vehicle.

The attack took place in the early hours of Wednesday, Oct. 23, in downtown Berkeley.

The victim, a 41-year-old male from Oakland, suffered major injuries, and is in critical condition in a local hospital.

The suspect, Duane Nailor, 54, of Texas, is being treated in a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries suffered during the collision. Nailor has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and related violations to be determined, according to police.

At approximately 12:45 a.m., police received numerous calls reporting a man being violently beaten at the northeast corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street, according to a statement released by the Berkeley Police Department on Wednesday afternoon. Witnesses reported seeing the suspect using a weapon to beat the victim, who was down on the ground. The suspect also broke the car window of a passing motorist, then returned to beat the victim.

The statement continues: “As officers approached, the suspect fled west on Center Street, driving a sport utility vehicle. Witnesses directed the officers towards the suspect’s vehicle, which was westbound on Center Street. The suspect turned from Center Street north into the southbound traffic lane of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, where he struck a responding police car. The suspect then fled at a high rate of speed, speeding north on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

“Officers pursued the vehicle, but lost sight of the vehicle due to its high rate of speed. As officers arrived in the area of the Alameda and Hopkins Street, they found the suspect’s vehicle had been involved in a solo vehicle collision, and the suspect attempting to flee on foot. The suspect was taken into custody. Officers determined the vehicle had collided with a tree on the Alameda north of Hopkins Street. The vehicle’s right side was sheared open by the impact with the tree.”

The Alameda near Hopkins Street was closed for several hours, and is now open to all traffic.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. The police currently have no information regarding the circumstances leading up to the attack.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident to call the Homicide Detail at 510-981-5741, or the non-emergency number at 510-981-5900. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...