Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

Police arrested a 51-year-old homeless man after the robbery and attempted rape of a UC Berkeley student Monday, authorities said.

The incident took place at 11:30 a.m., said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman, when the female Cal student was walking near Arch and Virginia streets, not far from the northern border of campus.

Coats said the man, later identified as Wilfred Allen, “approached the victim from behind and pushed her off a public walkway into a secluded grassy area. The suspect pinned the victim on the ground and when the victim attempted to scream he covered her mouth and attempted to sexually assault her.”

According to court papers, the man rubbed his genitals against the student repeatedly. They were both clothed but the student told police she “felt an object she believed to be Allen’s erect penis poking her through her clothing.”

When he stopped, Coats said he “stole the victim’s cellphone and identification and then fled the area.”

Officers quickly responded and found Allen walking on Hearst Avenue near Walnut Street where he was detained and arrested, said Coats. He still had the student’s cellphone with him.

According to court papers, the student identified Allen as her assailant, and he “also gave a Mirandized statement in which he confessed to his actions.”

Police arrested Allen on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping, assault with the intent to commit rape, probation violation and other violations, and booked him into Berkeley Jail. 

Coats said Wednesday that the case has been forwarded to the Alameda County district attorney’s office for charging consideration. Allen had been scheduled for arraignment Wednesday but the hearing was postponed until Thursday, according to a staffer in the criminal clerk’s office. 

According to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s department, Allen remained in custody Wednesday at Berkeley Jail with a bail of $320,000. He is not eligible for bail, however, due to the alleged probation violation.

According to court papers, Allen is on probation for two separate battery incidents in Alameda County.

The Berkeley Police Department has responded to at least 47 sexual assault reports in the past six months, 33 of which were felonies. Image:
The Berkeley Police Department has responded to at least 47 sexual assault reports in the past six months, 33 of which were felonies. Image:

Monday’s arrest is at least the second one linked to a recent sexual assault case in Berkeley. Several weeks ago, Nov. 8, officers responded to 2050 Center St. at 5:25 a.m. for a report of a woman screaming. At the scene, officers learned that the woman had been sitting in an alcove in front of Berkeley City College when a man came over to her.

“Without notice, the suspect attacked the victim — throwing her to the ground and trying to remove her clothing,” Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, previously told Berkeleyside.

When she yelled for help, two passers-by came over and scared the man away. They continued to chase him east on Center toward the downtown BART station. BART Police officers who happened to be at the station quickly took custody of the man, and turned him over to BPD.

Police identified the man as 28-year-old Andris Jackson. He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $100,000 and is scheduled for further pretrial Dec. 8.

The incidents are particularly notable because experts say most sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. Coats said Wednesday there have been no other recent stranger assaults to report.

The Berkeley Police Department has responded to 45 other sexual assaults over the past six months, 32 of which were listed as felonies.

Other felony sexual assaults reported in November, according to, took place Nov. 1 at 4 a.m. in the 1800 block of Allston Way; Nov. 20 at 3 a.m. in the 1500 block of Shattuck Avenue; and Nov. 29 at 6:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard.

The University of California Police Department has responded to at least 13 sex crime reports over the past six months, some of which were described in a recent Berkeleyside story.

A spokeswoman for UCPD said Wednesday there were no updates to release related to the agency’s investigation into an abduction and sexual assault that also was reported in November. In that incident, on Nov. 19, a student told UCPD she was “abducted from Central Campus and driven to an unknown location where she was sexually assaulted.”

Sgt. Sabrina Reich said UCPD will update the public if there is additional information to release: “We do not know if our case is related to any other cases at this time. We are asking the community if they saw anything to please contact us.”

Authorities ask anyone with information about the North Berkeley case to call the Berkeley Police Department Special Victim’s Unit at 510-981-5735. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can reach Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477). UCPD can be reached at 510-642-6760.

Read more about sexual assaults in Berkeley. Find other resources online for survivors of sexual violence.

UCPD investigates abduction, sexual assault in Berkeley (11.20.15)
Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Nov. 5-11 (11.20.15)
Man sodomized while sleeping at People’s Park (07.31.15)
Berkeley man charged with rape of sleeping woman (04.10.15)
UC Berkeley student charged after alleged sexual assault on fraternity brother (02.19.15)
UC Berkeley student exonerated of rape charge (10.17.14)
Berkeley Police seek info, suspect after sexual assault (06.26.14)

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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...