Police have cleared the 1800 block of Fourth Street after a report of a man causing a disturbance. Image: Google Maps
Police have cleared the 1800 block of Fourth Street after a report of a man causing a disturbance. Image: Google Maps

[Editor’s Note: Scroll to the bottom of this story for updates.]

Berkeley Police are responding to the 1800 block of Fourth Street after receiving reports of a man who is possibly high on drugs and breaking out windows from the second story of a building.

Berkeleyside has requested information from the Police Department.

According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, police were called to Berkeley’s popular Fourth Street shopping district for a report of two people who seemed suspicious and were checking the locks of a business near 1820 Fourth at 8:31 p.m.

The parties were described as a man in his 30s and a woman.

By about 8:39 p.m., police had responded to the area and were calling for officers with “less lethal” capabilities — foam projectiles — to come as well.

Police continued to gather resources, including additional officers on scene, and the Berkeley Fire Department was dispatched at 8:45 p.m.

Police said the man, who had gone into a two-story building, was breaking out windows on the second floor.

As of about 8:50 p.m., officers reported that they were setting up a perimeter and clearing Fourth Street for safety.

“Stay back,” advised one officer via the radio. “He’s bashing out the windows and it’s coming onto the sidewalk.”

Police also called for a negotiator, and someone to provide “lethal cover” for officers on scene.

These reports have not been confirmed by authorities, and Berkeleyside will update this story as more information becomes available.

Update, 9:54 p.m. Authorities reported, again via the scanner, that the man appeared to be “coming down the stairs” as of 9:45 p.m. The Fire Department called for an ambulance to respond “ASAP” at 9:50 p.m. The exact location of the incident was identified as 1815 Fourth. Normal radio traffic resumed at 9:52 p.m., and many of the officers were released from the scene. No official report from the Berkeley Police Department has been available thus far. This story will be updated when it is.

Update, 9:59 p.m. Authorities are transporting one subject to the hospital for medical care. The response was described as “Code 2,” which means urgent. Police accompanied the subject to the hospital.

Update, Feb. 6, 12:08 a.m. Berkeley Police Lt. Randy Files confirmed that officers had been dispatched to the 1800 block of Fourth Street on Wednesday night in connection with a man reportedly causing a disturbance.

Once on scene, Files quickly “shut down the block to create a safety zone” and established a perimeter in the surrounding area “to make sure none of the public would be harmed.”

Officers were able to verbally persuade the man, who was indoors breaking out windows facing the street, to surrender and come down from the second floor.

“We were able to negotiate a peaceful surrender,” said Files. “There were no injuries and there was no force.”

Files said he could not speculate about what may have caused the man’s behavior, but said the man had been taken by ambulance for medical evaluation.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...