The scene at Ashby Avenue and Stanton Street. Photo: Kester Allen
The scene at Ashby and Stanton on Nov. 23. Photo: Kester Allen

Two Oakland women in a stolen car who police say struck a cyclist while fleeing from officers in Berkeley have been charged with four felonies and are set to appear in court next week.

Both women entered not guilty pleas Monday.

According to court papers, 27-year-old Josefina Barajas was driving a stolen Acura when police were dispatched to a suspicious circumstance involving Barajas and another driver in South Berkeley on Nov. 23 at about 8:35 p.m. She was five months pregnant, according to court papers.

Also in the car was 26-year-old Starkeisha Moss.

Police initially responded to Fairview and Adeline streets for the suspicious circumstance call, and Barajas sped off before police could stop her, according to court papers. While attempting to make her getaway, she struck a bicyclist at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Prince Street, causing pelvic and abdominal injuries to him that were described as “moderate/serious.” He was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment.

Police said in court documents that Barajas “feloniously fled … illustrating a willful and wanton disregard for public safety.” At times during the chase, she drove on the wrong side of the road. Officers were able to take the pair into custody after the Acura “failed to drive any further” near Ashby Avenue and Seventh Street.

In the Acura, police also found stolen mail and a shaved car key, which can be used to steal vehicles.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Barajas with evading an officer causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident. Barajas and Moss were charged with the unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle and receiving stolen property in connection with the Acura theft.

Moss also was charged with a misdemeanor in connection with the stolen mail and other pilfered items, including a bank statement, a checkbook and a package containing bracelets.

Moss had no listed prior convictions, but Barajas was convicted in Alameda County in 2014 of vehicle theft and was sentenced to probation.

They remain in custody at Santa Rita Jail, Moss with a bail of $50,000, and Barajas with a bail of $222,500. They are scheduled for a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 9:05 a.m. at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

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

Driver in stolen vehicle strikes cyclist while fleeing police (11.23.15)

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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...