Terryl Rucker, via Facebook
Terryl Rucker, via Facebook

A man with a violent past in Berkeley has been arrested and charged with four felonies after escaping from police officers during a foot chase near his home on Russell Street in December, according to court papers.

In a document related to the arrest of 25-year-old Terryl Rucker, authorities said two officers tried to speak with him and another man, Ronald Lewis, during a narcotics enforcement investigation Dec. 20, 2013, in the 1600 block of Russell in South Berkeley.

According to court papers, they fled on foot into a gated complex in that block, which includes 1615 Russell, as officers chased them.

Rucker went into an apartment at 1615 Russell, then exited the second story of that building “and jumped to the ground floor where I again pursued him on foot,” police wrote. Both men managed to escape.

Police searched the apartment listed as the “probation address” of Rucker and Lewis, at 1615 Russell, and found marijuana packaged for sale, and two Apple iPads that were confirmed stolen out of Berkeley, according to authorities.

Scant information was available about how Rucker ultimately was arrested, but he was picked up on a warrant in Oakland on Feb. 19, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department Inmate Locator website.

Lewis has not yet been arrested, but the district attorney’s office charged both men Feb. 20 with possession of marijuana for sale, receiving stolen property — two counts, in connection with the iPads, and receiving stolen property in connection with a stolen Canon camera found in their possession.

According to the district attorney’s office, Rucker has four prior felony convictions in Alameda County: unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle in 2006; possession of a firearm by a felon in 2008; possession for sale of a controlled substance in 2009; and grand theft of a person in July 2011.

He received prison terms for the firearm and controlled substance convictions, and probation in the other two cases, including a brutal 2011 robbery attempt that upset many residents in South Berkeley.

Rucker had been arrested in May of that year on suspicion of battery, mayhem, robbery and a slew of other charges in connection with the violent pistol whipping of a Berkeley resident, as well as two other robberies the same month, in February 2011. Authorities said in mid-2011 that a second man had committed the crimes alongside Rucker, but that he had not been “identified and/or arrested.”

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said this week that the accomplice in those incidents still has not been identified.

In the first case linked to the men, on Feb. 10, their victim sustained “significant facial injuries” during a robbery and pistol whipping, which took place in the 3100 block of Ellis Street, at Prince Street, right across from Malcolm X Elementary School at about 11:30 p.m.

“He was so badly beaten with a gun on his chest and face that he sustained multiple facial fractures. The assailants fled without stealing anything,” according to an earlier report on Berkeleyside. The victim “was left to crawl home bleeding profusely.”

“Moments later,” police said previously, the men committed another robbery, at Prince and Harper streets, about a block to the east.

The district attorney’s office said Rucker was also responsible for a robbery in the 1600 block of Woolsey Street on Feb. 25, 2011, where he and another man robbed a pedestrian of his laptop and iPhone. According to police, the victim in that case reported pain and minor injuries to his face, but declined medical treatment.

In May of that year, Berkeley Police detectives served a search warrant at Rucker’s home, in the 1600 block of Russell Street, and reported the discovery of cocaine base and marijuana in quantities consistent with a sales operation, police said previously.

Rucker is being held on the current charges at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $65,000, and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing March 4 at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Arrest made in case of pistol-whipped victim in South Berkeley (06.09.11)
Berkeley neighborhood reacts to violent crime in its midst (03.24.11)

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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...