Photo: Kester Allen
The scene at Ashby Avenue and Stanton Street. Photo: Kester Allen

Berkeley Police officers took two women into custody Monday night after they struck a cyclist with their stolen vehicle while fleeing from police after an earlier traffic collision.

Police first got the call at 8:36 p.m., said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman.

Initially the call came in about a suspicious circumstance involving a traffic collision between two vehicles that were driving erratically near Adeline and Fairview streets in South Berkeley.

When an officer was arriving to contact those drivers, they fled. One of the vehicles, which at one point drove the wrong way while fleeing police, struck a cyclist at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Prince Street. The crash occurred northbound in the southbound lanes. 

An officer continued to follow the vehicle, and was able to stop it at Ashby Avenue and Stanton Street.

The vehicle turned out to have been reported stolen out of Oakland. Officers took the vehicle’s two occupants into custody. One of the women was pregnant and was taken by ambulance to Highland Hospital. The other one was taken to Berkeley Jail for booking.

Their names were not immediately available, said White.

The cyclist was taken to Highland with a possible broken leg and abdominal injuries. The cyclist was reported over the scanner to be alert and talking.

The other driver from the initial collision also fled the scene. Police are continuing to investigate the incident, White said.

The stolen vehicle stopped at Ashby and Stanton will be impounded, said Sgt. Todd Sabins. Officers remained at the scene as of shortly before 10 p.m.

Update, Nov. 24, 12:37 p.m. The women who were arrested have been identified as Josefina Barajas, 27, and Starkeisha Moss, 26. Moss was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft. Barajas was arrested on suspicion of that offense in addition to evading police, driving the wrong way during a police pursuit, hit and run, and other violations.

Moss is being held with a bail of $25,000, and Barajas with a bail of $285,402. They are being held at Berkeley Jail and are scheduled for arraignment Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Police ask anyone with information about the case to call 510-981-5900. 

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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...