Berkeley teen arrested with gun amid fights downtown

Berkeley Police cruisers. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Police arrested an 18-year-old with a loaded gun Tuesday, authorities said. Photo: Emilie Raguso/File photo

An 18-year-old from Berkeley was arrested with a loaded gun Tuesday evening after authorities responded to reports of large groups of youth fighting in the streets downtown, police said.

Shortly after 7 p.m., a Berkeleyside reader reported a “heavy” police presence downtown, and asked for more information.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dan Montgomery told Berkeleyside that police had been alerted earlier in the evening to a group of about 60 young adults “pushing and fighting” in the street in front of Papa John’s, on Shattuck Avenue between Allston Way and Kittredge Street.

A caller also reported that one member of the group pulled out a gun during the disturbance. 

A short time later, someone flagged police down near the station and told officers about a group of people chasing another individual down Martin Luther King Jr. Way, near Old City Hall. Officers spotted several people running south on MLK from Channing Way.

Officers who responded saw that one of those individuals matched the description provided of the man who had been seen with a gun on Shattuck, Montgomery said.

After a short foot chase that ended on Blake Street at about 5:30 p.m., officers were able to stop the young man, who had a loaded gun with him, Montgomery said. The gun was unregistered and had an extended magazine.

Police arrested the man, identified as 18-year-old Isaiah Mitchell-Lawson of Berkeley, in connection with the firearm. As of 2014, according to the sports website Hudl.com, Mitchell-Lawson attended Berkeley High School, where he played on the basketball team.

He is being held at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $105,000. He is scheduled for arraignment Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Even after the arrest, callers reported continuing disturbances involving large groups of youth on Shattuck Avenue around Papa John’s, according to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside. The group was reportedly “pushing people into windows” and fighting.

Montgomery said police increased their presence in the area and the activity eventually died down.

Have a question about a local public safety incident? Write to crime@berkeleyside.com. Photographs and videos are always appreciated. Read more coverage about guns in Berkeley.

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Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.