Berkeley police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso
A 22-year-old man is heading back to court this week after facing two felony charges for battery and elder abuse. Photo: Emilie Raguso

A man charged in June with two felonies, battery with serious bodily injury and elder abuse, is set to return to court Thursday.

Siaosi Aleamotua, 22, was arrested by the Berkeley Police after he allegedly knocked down and attacked a 69-year-old man who refused to give him $1 in March.

According to court papers, the man had been walking on Durant Avenue near Dana Street, in the Southside neighborhood, on March 2 when Aleamotua asked him for $1. The man said he didn’t have any money and kept walking.

He was struck from behind and fell down next to a parked BMW.

“The suspect then kicked and stomped on the victim’s face,” according to court papers. “The victim sustained a broken nose in two places and other injuries to his face and neck.” 

After Aleamotua fled, police said, a witness who had seen him making “kicking and stomping motions” next to the car “heard moaning and found the victim collapsed on the ground.”

The witness told police he had seen the assailant put his hand on the roof of the BMW during the attack.

An ID tech with the Berkeley Police Department dusted the BMW for fingerprints, and an analysis later determined that one of the prints matched Aleamotua’s thumb.

The victim did not pick out Aleamotua during a photo line-up with police, however.

On May 28, police sought a warrant for Aleamotua’s arrest. Police located him the next day and took him into custody, according to court papers.

“When Siaosi was told he was identified as the person that assaulted the victim, Siaosi did not deny it and shortly thereafter invoked his right to an attorney,” wrote Sgt. Peter Hong in court documents obtained by Berkeleyside from the Alameda County district attorney’s office.

On June 1, the district attorney’s office charged Aleamotua with felony battery with serious bodily injury and elder abuse, which is also a felony.

According to court papers, Aleamotua was convicted in March 2011 of felony robbery in Alameda County. It counted as a strike against him and he was sentenced to prison.

In August 2012, Aleamotua was convicted of receiving stolen property, also a felony, and was sent to prison in that case, too. He had another brush with the law that same year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, after being arrested in connection with Occupy Oakland protests that saw 39 people taken into custody.

Aleamotua was also arrested in Berkeley’s Constitution Square in August 2013 after he reportedly picked up a wooden object and struck a 28-year-old street vendor who refused to give him a percentage of his earnings.

Aleamotua is scheduled for a procedural hearing Thursday, July 30, at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland. He is being held at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $260,000, but is not eligible for bail because he violated the terms of his parole, according to Alameda County sheriff’s department records posted online.

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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...