Police responded to an altercation Sunday on Ashby. Image: Google maps
Police responded to an altercation Sunday on Ashby. Image: Google maps

Update, Nov. 19, 1:27 p.m. The Alameda County district attorney’s office has not filed charges in this case, and spokeswoman Teresa Drenick says it remains under investigation by the Berkeley Police Department. Said Officer Byron White, police ultimately released Emauj Roos, Aaron Meredith and Caleb Williams “without complaint”: “As a result of further investigation into the case, we did not find sufficient evidence to hold three of the adult arrestees.” The other teenager, 18-year-old Berkeley High School student Danari Williams, was released after the DA’s office declined to pursue charges at this time. See the updated story.

Original story, Nov. 15, 9:54 p.m. Police have taken six people into custody after a report of a fight in South Berkeley that sent a male to the hospital with what appears to be a major head injury, authorities said.

Police Sgt. Todd Sabins said officers received a call just after 5 p.m. Sunday about an altercation involving a group of younger males and one male victim that escalated into a fight in the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue, near Mabel Street.

The victim received “somewhat major blunt force trauma to the head,” said Sabins, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Officers responded quickly, after receiving reports of 8-9 males leaving the scene, and ultimately were able to detain six of them.

Sabins said he was not sure if any weapons were involved, or if the victim was expected to survive. But he said more information might be forthcoming as investigators continue to work the case.

Sabins credited both officers and alert callers and community members with the successful detentions.

“Officers were very close in the area at the time,” he said,”so it was good work by the cops and the folks helping us: directing us in and giving us information.”

According to unconfirmed scanner traffic, police initially got a call that a male who had been beat up by a group of 8-9 males was on the ground unconscious. One officer who responded to the scene asked dispatch to alert the Berkeley Fire Department that the male had blood coming from his ears.

The group of responsible males left the area on foot, and fled when officers approached them near Heinz Avenue and 10th Street in West Berkeley. Some were spotted hopping a fence in the 2800 block of 10th.

Officers quickly set up a perimeter, and began a house-to-house search. They were able to detain six of those believed to be responsible. Their names were not immediately available given the early stage of the investigation.

In October, officers found casings nearby, in the 2800 block of Mabel, between Oregon and Russell streets, after reports of gunfire in the area. In August, police responded to a shooting in that same block that sent a man to the hospital. There was no indication Sunday whether those incidents were related to Sunday’s altercation.

Update, 6:30 a.m. Four of the males arrested were listed in the Alameda County sheriff’s department inmate locator online booking system at Berkeley Jail as of Monday morning: Aaron Meredith, 18; Emauj Roos, 18; Caleb Williams, 19; and Danari Williams, 18.

They are scheduled for arraignment Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. All were arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide and are being held without bail.

Danari Williams is listed on sports website hudl.com as a linebacker on Berkeley High’s football team. He is listed as a current member of the varsity team according to MaxPreps.com, with graduation expected in 2016. His occupation is listed by the sheriff’s department as a student. Occupations were not listed for the other individuals.

Roos played as a fullback on Berkeley High’s varsity football team according to hudl.com, which includes a highlight video of Roos and identifies him as part of Berkeley High’s class of 2015.

Roos was arrested in August on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police said he was also responsible for shooting into the air outside a party in West Berkeley two days earlier “because he was angry about getting ‘jumped.’” He has already been sentenced in that case and is scheduled for a progress report in December.

Berkeleyside will update this story if additional information is provided. Read more about crime in Berkeley.

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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...

96 replies on “Male sustains serious head injury after fight; 6 arrested”

  1. A background story on what led up to the nonwhite student to posting his remarks on the library computer would be beneficial. Let’s hear the other side of the story. What actions lead to someone having this level of hostility? I know that many have suffered, robbery, shakedowns, and racial violence at Berkeley High and it doesn’t get reported because they are afraid or know that BUSD doesn’t count racial acts against non African Americans as a hate crime. This helps no one, especially not the perpetrators.

  2. The site I linked to was this one, specifically an article about the Martin rally a few years ago which mentioned the Nation of Islam’s speaking to BHS students.

    While your short essay on nations and religions being two different concepts, your curious notions about the founding of modern Israel, and the apparent disconnect between the Arab world and the UN is fascinating I don’t think it’s particularly relevant here. The Nation of Islam (yes, they really call themselves that) is an organization founded by Elijah Muhammad in the 1930s. Those smartly dressed, handsome black guys in suits and bow ties selling newspapers and bean pies at the stop lights on south MLK, that’s them. Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan are some of the better known people associated with it at one time or another, perhaps you’ve heard of them?

    In any case, depending on who you ask it’s somewhere between a notoriously antisemitic hate group or the only hope to save the black race. Since you seem to like links the Southern Poverty Law Center has, in my opinion, an excellent summary of the group here:

  3. PLEASE, NO ONE WANTS LOVE FROM YOU PEOPLE. I want YOU to understand, NOT ME, I understand my own race….yes I do. I’m fine on that. I’m glad to know your sons finally put down buzz lightyear and woody toys and put on their big boy boots. Great for them! If they needed to be saved by society they would be in an instant… they are white.

  4. Just for clarification: Initially we wanted to know the race because some commenters were claiming: Oh this must have been done by a black student as a hoax, or to stir things up. Others hoped to know the race to have a better understanding of the student’s motive, given the racial nature of the threats.

    The only reason I (can’t speak for others) am now saying “this student was not white” is in response to factual inaccuracies coming out in the comments. I hope, particularly given all the complexities and dynamics of the situation, we can agree that having the basic facts right is reasonable.


  6. Are you suggesting that gentrification was harder on lower income white people in Berkeley? How do other low income people manage to stay here if poor whites were all pushed out?

  7. why don’t we pray for paris as well? Like you’re going far off topic. Im talking specifically about the separation between the white community and the POC community. I’m black, born and raised in south berkeley….know every “thug” and “criminal” you guys speak about….. I also played sports, and I am a very diverse person with a diverse friend group. I hung out with the white kids at school, I knew what it was like… I have very few white friends left because they have either become uncomfortable with the fact that I am actually black and come from a different background and don’t need to cater to their agenda. Same white kids pretending to befriend the token african american kids of berkeley high, the same ones that walk out with the african american students during the moments of protest will be the same racist people that later comment on berkeleyside articles. Notice the cycle.

  8. Stepping in here: The student involved in the racist computer hack was not white (caucasian) or black. We take seriously the district’s concern about protecting the student’s identity to limit the possibility of retribution, while in absolutely no way condoning his behavior. We are not allowing comments related to the student’s race for this reason.

  9. “thank you for your love and understanding. Thats all I want, is for people to get a better understanding of the African American community. Unfortunately all they know is what the ignorant people post on here.”

    Seriously, there is absolutely no need to thank me. I failed to speak up without your gentle reminder.

    Adding your voice whenever possible here would be beneficial to all, I’d think.

  10. What do you think is a good way to”get involved to try to help these childeren”?
    Should “you whites” focus on helping them as a racial group, or as seperate individuals? Why are home situations and disciplinary records less relevant to this discussion than race neighborhood, and income? It’s hard to tell if you would prefer discussion of individuals (victim,suspects,commenters) or entire racial groups.

  11. Did you guys all forget that there is a child seriously injured in the hospital right now as a result of this? Could anyone stop to lend hip a “prayer”or a “I hope he’s ok”.

    As someone who reads these comments regularly my impression is that there is a very small cadre of posters here that are responsible for dominating the conversations and creating the tone you’ve described. Personally I try to simply roll my eyes and ignore them as much as possible. I know others who do the same.

    That’s no excuse though. You’re 100% spot on: Not a single person showed the basic level of human decency required to comment on the well being of this kid. The closest was a premature proclamation that the injuries would prove fatal that, quite frankly, seemed to be more about creating a prop for the poster’s agenda than showing any actual compassion for the injured child.

    Hopefully the moderators will understand this is the best word choice available: That is completely fucked up.

    I feel ashamed, and I am sorry.

    Thank you for your post.

  12. Christopher,
    Thank you for putting your thoughts out there. I hope the young man who was injured is going to be alright. You’re correct, no one – of any ethnicity or background – knows anyone else’s reality. Unless they take the time and effort to understand. Many people use the comment section of any paper or forum to say ugly things, and hide their racism or other fears/misunderstanding behind the excuse of ‘safety’ or obsessing over which students live in what district. That has got to be upsetting and disheartening – I know it discourages me. Reality though, is that it’s a tiny minority of folks who are so fearful and angry … and they know that … and that’s part of what makes they so fearful. It’s good to call it out, but, don’t let it effect how you view everyone.

  13. I like how confident you are about how much you know about “them”. It sounds a lot like the behavior you speak against, i.e., white folks who somehow “know” what is going on in the AA community.

    Gentrification affects everyone. Violence affects everyone.

    I would like to see some community leaders from the specific neighborhood doing a march or a protest in response to this violent incident. That would be dealing with the problem.

    We cannot keep treating race as a proxy term for violent behavior.

    The article is about violence as far as I am concerned. I do not see why it matters who perpetrated it on who. Violence is not what I want in my community, end of story. Does this behavior somehow need to become more acceptable due to some circumstances?

  14. oh pardon my african american manners…. “caucasian 14 year old student” let me not offend anyone. The teacher released it because….. why not? If it were an african american kid talking about how much he hates all the jews of Berkeley trust me there would have been outrage… and they would have released his information, instead of trying to “protect” him.

  15. It wasn’t a “white kid” and it was a teacher who announced what he wrote. I know BUSD completely bungled the communication about this but repeating falsehoods doesn’t help the situation.

  16. Do you know who is white here? I don’t. And guessing will involved making some assumptions, or stereotypes. I could be wrong though.

    I know many whites who live in the flats, and they are not economically advantaged by any means, more like struggling.

    If we can go beyond the labels, stereotypes and other arbitrary differentiators, that would be progress.

    I am totally with you on thinking about the person who got injured. Where is the outrage from EVERYONE?

  17. the comments in this section are the reason a white kid thought it was ok to go to the BHS Library and post racist comments and announce a public lynching. Why is it that when something happens involving african americans, it represents our entire community. But when some crazy white kid does racists shit, or shoots up a school its never a full representation of the white community? Did you guys all forget that there is a child seriously injured in the hospital right now as a result of this? Could anyone stop to lend hip a “prayer”or a “I hope he’s ok”. You speak on blacks as if we are inferior in the city of Berkeley, as if we have no voice for ourselves. Why are all of you so worried about their home situations? Where the kids live and what their old disciplinary records are?? If you cared so much you would actually get involved and try to help these children that are significantly less fortunate than you! Not everyone is as “well off” as you think in Berkeley. The economic gap in this city is almost as big as the education gap, but its all relative of course. You whites that live in the hills don’t understand these people that live in the flats and have to make ends meet. You whites that live in the flats, also don’t understand the POC that live in the flats. Meanwhile you walk around with your fake smiles, make people think Berkeley is such an amazingly progressive place until you come to a site like this and see the comments like these. Backwards morale, fake progressive white people.

  18. “just because of the color of their skin”….? Because gangs in our schools target kids based on race?
    So they move through life puffed up with fear and adults offer patronizing head patting denial, more violence or the assumption that victims and perpetrators are one group to be equally feared and dismissed. No wonder they give up and try to live on their own twisted adolescent terms. No one who claims to care can actually be trusted.

  19. You missed the deeper tragedy, the dismantling of the double period science program after 60 years of success with all three levels of student ability. Instead we got small schools, 6th period day, higher admin costs, less electives and poor educational outcomes overall.

  20. If your children were regularly having to navigate gang violence at school just because of the color of their skin, I doubt that you would think it was a “bizarre obsession” and not a major crisis. But since this experience is limited to a particular highly segregated demographic, most or all of whom do not feel free to speak about these experiences, or even lie about them for their safety when questioned, it becomes possible for many people to not even believe there is a problem. So what, you ask? So needed anti-gang education, needed social workers, needed interventions are not considered, and we continue to fail not only the children born into gang families, but all their classmates they expose to violence at school as well.

  21. And these charmers will all be welcome in the “save space” that the BSU demands for African Americans, making it an unsafe space.

  22. The obsession isn’t mine, but that of the PC crowd.
    1) Those people never even speak on the issue to deny it, so I can’t quote them. But go back to Berkeleyside’s stories on any incident of gang-initiated violence at BHS, & see how school officials never admit it. People were amazed when a police officer was quoted mentioning gangs a couple of weeks ago. I suggest you show up at a City Council meeting, ask what they’re going to do about Berkeley’s resident gangs, & listen to the reactions.

    2) Those who refuse to admit a problem even exists are hardly best suited to solving it. If a grandmother murdered by being knifed in the throat isn’t bad enough to you to admit there’s a problem, what would be?

  23. I agree with that pseudonym. Laura, I can tell you’ve been thru several political wringers already, but… Any chance we could persuade you to run for school board?

  24. Danari Williams and Emauj Roos were paid interns in 2014 according to Transparent California’s website. Can someone do some more digging up on this?

  25. Having been priced out of the labor market and with no school to attend he has ample free time to ruin his life and those around him.

  26. .

    Roos is that same fool who got busted earlier this year

    He needs to go back to BHS and do the “Black Lives Matter” thing, since they clearly don’t for him


  27. I willing to be Mr. Roos was one of those kids who didn’t do his homework. You know, too cool for school.

  28. FYI: My understanding is that this video shows a related fight at Park and Ward about 15 minutes prior to the incident in the story above.

  29. I trust you’ve provided the BPD with a copy of the video & a sworn statement of its authenticity, so they can try to ID & arrest more of the participants than the 6 they caught.

    This is supposed to be a park where small children can safely play.

  30. Yeah, right… the white kid is just going to go in an bust it up when he’s outnumbered 14 to 1?

    Seriously now, what planet are YOU posting from?

  31. What are you on about? You seem to have some kind of axe to grind but I cant make it out through all this BS- what is it you want exactly?

  32. It was charged as a felony, along with four other felonies. I have asked the DA’s office for any update.

    “The Undersigned further deposes and says on Information and belief, that said EMAUJ MALIK ROOS did, in the County of Alameda, State of California, on or about August 22, 2015, commit a Felony, to wit: DISCHARGE OF FIREARM WITH GROSS NEGLIGENCE, a violation of section 246.3(a) of the PENAL CODE of California, in that said defendant(s) did willfully and unlawfully discharge a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury and death to a person.”

  33. If we’d just cut more AP classes and chemistry labs and replace them with safe spaces and social justice I’m sure we could whittle down that pesky achievement gap in no time!

  34. BHS, what is your policy on students being involved in attempted homicide off campus? Restorative justice? Or nothing for you to deal with as it happened off school property. Where are the marches for nonviolence and justice?

  35. When is our DA’s term up for re-election? it’s outrageous that these guys are allowed to keep reoffending without prison time for such dangerous offences.

  36. No doubt, because I can clearly see a white guy standing behind the crowd in the video and he’s not doing a DAMN thing to help calm things down.

  37. If Danari Williams doesn’t get suspended/expelled from BHS — then nothing really matters.
    Berkeley can’t have it both ways . . . .

  38. Berkeley High students have suffered great emotional trauma. Expressing their outrage through violence is just part of the healing process.

  39. Another bad guess. I don’t know what the “guest” you’re referring to wants, only that they aren’t who you think they are, and that the poster you think they are supports stronger gun control contrary to what you think.

  40. Many comments here allude to a very chillaxed AC DA’s office whereby this gangsta was afforded more benefit of doubt in his previous encounters than was prudent and wise. He already had a long record as a minor. What is his outlook? That somehow he will all of a sudden see the error of his ways and give up weapons, gang activity, and whatever else he is into?

    So, sure, let’s talk about what his rights are on this current incident. We all have those rights, but as this pattern continues, continuing to defend his rights will start looking a lot more like endorsing the DA’s stance.

    What are we protecting here? What about the rights of the man who is in the hospital? Can you speak about those with similar vigor?

    [This comment has been moderated. -Eds.]

  41. Bad guess? Are you saying this “guest” does not want more laws to control the homeless, despite the ineffectiveness of current laws?

  42. Do we know who sent one of the fighting thugs to the hospital?

    You seem to be confused about what happened. This was not a brawl involving two groups of young men, like some sort of Sharks and Jets rivalry. This was 8-9 young men jumping 1 young man and beating the tar out of him.

  43. I know it’s old fashioned but innocent until proven guilty, or having plead guilty, is still the standard. And you ask for an outcry.

    Where were those concerns for the student after the racist comment was written on a computer screen at BHS?

    What’s wrong with the priorities here that we make a National incident out of a nasty note, but basically ignore vicious beatings and assaults?

  44. Bad guess, actually. The poster you’re referring to actually supports much harsher laws controlling handguns.

  45. If the website is correct — and generally it tends to be — I would have to guess he took a plea deal related to lesser charges but I will need to find out from the DA or court file to be sure. Someone else who seems to be familiar with the case was also posting here and had a different understanding. So I’ll have to find out more. I’m out of town most of this week so it may not be right away.

  46. He has not yet been convicted of anything. I know it’s old fashioned but innocent until proven guilty, or having plead guilty, is still the standard. And you ask for an outcry. I wonder how many are aware that last night’s crime occurred. The kid getting expelled from the h.s. team is hardly the top priority in the immediate aftermath of last night’s fight. Why is there so much hate for BHS students in the Berkeleyside comments?

    Do we know who sent one of the fighting thugs to the hospital? Do we know it was Mr. Williams? Can a high school kick a kid off a team before he is convicted of a crime? Chillax, folks. If he is convicted, he won’t be playing football.

    Looks to me like many comments use any excuse to slime BHS students as criminals, using this tragic criminal event as an opportunity to make their bigoted case against BHS.

  47. Let me guess that this “guest” also spends lots of time complaining that the city does not enforce existing laws that control behavior of the homeless, and that he wants more laws to control the homeless despite the ineffectiveness of current laws.

  48. Don’t be so sure–the Alameda Co DA has a habit of plea-bargaining attempted murder down to misdemeanor battery, especially after the public defender claims the victim started it, or was engaging in a fair fight. .

    It’d be interesting to learn whether, armed with his valuable BHS diploma, he can actually read, write, do retail-clerk arithmetic, or has applied for a job since graduation. Maybe it’ll come out in his public defender’s appeal about how disadvantaged he is during sentencing.

  49. Clearly we need to pass MORE gun control laws, because nothing deters crime like making something double-plus quadruple illegal. With luck we can make a few accidental felons out of otherwise law-abiding folks while we’re at it, or at least disarm them so all the would-be “mob niggaz” will feel a little safer doing their robbing and pillaging and stuff…

  50. Mauj is definitely going to do some time. Ask your contacts at BPD about it. He’s over 18 now, multiple and escalating felonies, two involving a firearm. We’ve been assured he’s not going to be around for awhile.

  51. Looks like he posted bail and was awaiting sentencing. As someone else has pointed out, he is a BHS grad, not a BHS student that can be kicked off a team.

  52. I’m sure their new $80k/9mo crony consultant will be advocating for “restorative justice” instead of expulsion. That’s the announced goal for both him & Principal Pasarow.

  53. Danari Williams is listed on sports website hudl.com as a linebacker on Berkeley High’s football team. He is listed as a current member of the varsity team according to MaxPreps.com, with graduation expected in 2016. His occupation is listed by the sheriff’s department as a student.
    Has Darari Williams been suspended from BHS?

  54. By listing them as “males” they are assuming that they know the preferred gender identity of someone just by looking at them. Also, it is sexist and stigmatizes men as being violent.

    That said, they left out an important detail. Looks like several (all?) are Berkeley High students. Maybe they are just acting out in response to the trauma that was caused when the racist note that was typed on the screen of a library computer by another student was brought to their attention. I hope the protests over this latest violence, which will surely shut down classes for days, are peaceful.

  55. Mauj graduated from Berkeley High last year, so he can’t be disciplined by BHS because he’s no longer a student there.

    He stays down on 7th and Channing, was associated with Jermaine Davis, who was killed last year. Neighbors have been having slow success over the past few years getting troublemakers dealt with, but this kid is making it really easy.

    I know the article says he’s been sentenced, but last we heard from BPD about it was that he was out on bail awaiting sentencing. Doesn’t look like he’ll be out again, and we don’t expect to see him down here anymore.

  56. Wow, that crammed that little house into what used to be the parking area of a apartment building, totally surrounded by other multi-unit two-story structures. For 800K you’d have to be seriously desperate to live in Berkeley.

  57. Emilie,

    > Roos was arrested in August on suspicion of carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Police said he was also responsible for shooting into the air outside a party in West Berkeley two days earlier “because he was angry about getting ‘jumped.’” He has already been sentenced in that case and is scheduled for a progress report in December.

    Am I reading this right? Does a “progress report in December” imply that his sentence for five felonies did not include prison time? And that 6 weeks after sentencing, he’s allegedly committed new felonies?

    If so, it’s stunning that the DA allowed this to happen. If anyone deserved to jail, it’s this guy. I wish it were possible for the family of this latest victim to sue the DA for dereliction of duty in the earlier case.

  58. More evidence that football often correlates with brain injury. It’s amazing that a town that taxes sugar sweetened beverages to protect children’s health (really: fund a beloved garden program) hasn’t abandoned these gladiatorial contests.

    I believe that the role of sport among school age children is to teach an appreciation for life long physical activity. Running, swimming, soccer, basketball, volleyball — these are “life sports” barring knee injuries and the like. Football is not even close.

  59. I telephoned BPD to advise that a group of young men were completely blocking Park Street and fighting. Described the group as consisting of 15 or so young men and told the dispatcher there was a fight. Took cell phone video of the group and of a fist fight. Dispatch wanted me to “describe the group.” Entirely blocking a public street and engaging in a fight. Just come deal with the situation, what difference does it make what they look like? …video available upon request.

  60. There are members of the football team who are far greater threats to the safety of BHS students than that freshman screen hacker. Where’s the outrage? Sober up, Berkeley!

  61. 9 against 1 isn’t a fight, it’s an attempted murder.

    Why is this attempted murder who carries illegal guns still a football player at BHS? Any other school system would kick them off the team and expel them for this kind of behavior.

  62. Why was Emauj Roos out on the streets again after his recent shootings and assaults? Why is Emauj Roos still on the Berkeley High football team? Why hasn’t Emauj Roos been expelled from Berkeley High School?

    We make a national incident about a kid writing a nasty note, but here we have someone shooting illegal weapons at parties and beating people almost to death and nobody at Berkeley High School seems to give a damn.

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