A suspicious man who went into a West Berkeley yoga studio on Sunday morning, asked about classes, then elbowed a police officer in the face who tried to detain him, has been arrested, authorities said Sunday afternoon.
Shortly before noon, the Berkeley Police Department’s Communications Center received a call from a yoga studio in the 800 block of University Avenue, around Sixth Street, said Lt. Dave Frankel, a watch commander for the Berkeley police.
The caller said a suspicious man was inside the business, CorePower Yoga at 811 University Ave. According to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, the man was walking in and out of the studio, asking about classes and about studio operations.
“The employee felt that the person was casing the business to commit a crime,” Frankel said via email.
The first responding officer arrived at the yoga studio within minutes. That officer found the man inside, and tried to detain him. But he “became combative and struck the officer in the face before running from the business.”
The officer told dispatchers over the scanner that the man “had a needle in his pocket and he struck me in the side of the head.”
Officers chased the man into the 900 block of University, Frankel said, and set up a perimeter to trap him.
Numerous readers asked Berkeleyside to find out about the incident due to the fast, loud, police response to the area.
“Lots of police sirens near Sacramento and University just now, including one police car going FAST westbound on Hearst,” wrote Ian Crew on Twitter.
Added Tina Yin: “Never seen so many police screaming across Berkeley. 15 BPD cars just tore down university headed west. Hear more.”
Elizabeth Olson Lennon wrote, “just saw 9 BPD traveling west on University at 50+ mph.”
After a brief search, said Frankel, police found the man and arrested him in a backyard in the 1900 block of Sixth Street.
Police identified the man as 28-year-old Cory Christopher Boyce of Oakland.
He was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, assault on an officer and probation violation.
The officer suffered a minor facial injury but was cleared to return to duty, Frankel said.
Boyce has a prior conviction, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department, for several violations related to controlled substances.
He is being held at the Berkeley Jail on a bail of $55,000 and is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday afternoon at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.
[Editor’s note: This story originally was published at 3:57 p.m., but was republished at 5:10 p.m. to address a technical glitch related to Berkeleyside’s Daily Briefing newsletter.]
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