At least two Berkeley Police officers are seeking medical care after being injured during the arrest outside a West Berkeley grocery store of a man who had earlier been armed with a knife.
The man had brandished the knife at two city employees Tuesday morning, authorities said. He dropped the knife and walked away after officers arrived, ignoring repeated commands to stop, before nearing the entrance of the Whole Foods grocery store on Gilman Street. Officers then used force to take the man into custody when he would not allow himself to be handcuffed.
Berkeley Police Lt. Kevin Schofield, a department spokesman, said the man — identified as 41-year-old Jason Joyner of Berkeley — brandished a knife shortly before 9 a.m. at two city Public Works employees on duty at San Pablo Avenue and Harrison Street.
When police arrived, they tried to speak with Joyner at Harrison and 10th streets, Schofield said.
“Officers ordered Joyner to stop numerous times as they continued to attempt to de-escalate the situation,” he said. “Joyner ignored their repeated commands and walked away.”
At one point, the man pulled out a knife and brandished it at police, Schofield said. He then dropped the knife and continued to walk south, ignoring repeated orders to stop.
Joyner walked south on Ninth from Harrison toward the entrance to the Whole Foods, at 1025 Gilman.
Schofield said police tried to use verbal de-escalation to get Joyner to surrender. But, ultimately, they decided to restrain him and take him into custody to keep him from going inside the store for the safety of customers and employees.
“The officers went a long time following him to try and prevent any conflict,” Schofield said. “It just did not happen.”
Joyner would not allow himself to be handcuffed and “violently resisted” police efforts, Schofield said. Four officers were injured during the struggle, receiving minor abrasions and scrapes, as well as what could potentially be a more serious knee injury.
Three officers were exposed to blood from a cut on Joyner’s hand that may have occurred when he grabbed the knife or during the subsequent struggle with police, Schofield said. Paramedics treated Joyner at the scene before he was taken into custody.
His blood will be tested so officers will know whether they may have been exposed to any communicable diseases.
Joyner was arrested on suspicion of exhibiting a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, possession of a concealed knife and probation violation.
Schofield said Joyner is well known to police. According to University of California Police Department records online, he was arrested in April after stealing a bike. He was also arrested in 2013 after authorities got a report that he had hit a 66-year-old man with a heavy object, according to Berkeleyside records.
Joyner has not yet shown up in online booking records so neither his bail nor his next court appearance were immediately available.
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