Two Berkeley teenagers described by police as “known gang members” were arrested with a loaded gun, authorities say, after scaring at least one resident while “banging” on doors and asking how to find BART.
According to court papers, the Berkeley Police Department got numerous calls Jan. 19 shortly after noon about two people who were knocking on doors in North Berkeley claiming to be looking for BART.
According to police, “both are known gang members and had no valid reason for being in the area.” They later told police they got to North Berkeley via BART and walked up to Yolo Avenue looking for a friend’s house, according to court documents.
When police initially responded to the area, they said they found Meredith hiding on a porch “where the homeowner had called police scared that someone was banging on her door.” Near the hiding spot, police said they found a fully-loaded pistol with a high-capacity magazine. The weapon was not registered.
Police said Carrell initially gave police a fake name but Sgt. Patty Delaluna, the department’s gang expert, recognized him and “he finally admitted to giving a false name.” Police said Carrell was already on probation for a prior weapons possession case.
The teens were arrested in the 1900 block of Yolo Avenue in North Berkeley, between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Bonita Avenue.
They now face several felonies. Carrell was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. He was convicted in late November in Alameda County of carrying a concealed firearm and was sentenced to probation.
The pair was charged with carrying a loaded firearm, along with a special allegation because the gun was not registered. Carrell faces another special allegation due to his prior conviction. Special allegations can significantly impact the severity of sentencing.
Both men were also charged with having a large-capacity magazine, another felony.
According to court records, a bail motion is scheduled to be heard Thursday. Both men are being held at Santa Rita Jail, Meredith on $60,000 bail and Carrell on $75,000.
The preliminary hearing, where a judge decides whether there is enough evidence for the case to move forward to trial, is set for Feb. 6 before Judge Jon Rolefson.
Further information about Carrell’s prior conviction was not immediately available from authorities, but Carrell, Meredith and a third young man were arrested in January 2016 after reports of gunfire in the 1600 block of Russell Street between Sacramento Street and McGee Avenue.
As previously reported on Berkeleyside, one local resident on Twitter said it “sounded like 4 or 6 shots then some screaming somewhere near.”
Witnesses quickly pointed police to a group of young men running in the area, and officers stopped several individuals at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Ashby Avenue, about three blocks east of the sound of gunfire. The trio was taken into custody after police recovered a firearm. Police ultimately found property damage but no victims.
In that case, Carrell initially was held with a bail of $370,000 on suspicion of several firearm-related offenses: altering a firearm ID, carrying a concealed, loaded firearm and shooting at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle.
Meredith and the other man were arrested on suspicion of shooting at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle, and bail was set at $250,000. Police said all three young men were from Berkeley.
According to Carrell’s Facebook page, he went to Berkeley High and Berkeley Technology Academy, and lives in Berkeley. He writes, however, on more than one of his social media accounts, that he is “from Oakland.” According to MaxPreps, he was on the freshman basketball team in 2012-13. According to Hudl, he was on the varsity football team and was a member of the class of 2016.
Meredith’s Facebook page also shows him to be a graduate of Berkeley High, but no further information was readily available.