A man was taken to Highland Hospital with serious injuries Friday after trying to stop robbers in downtown Berkeley from taking his laptop, according to authorities and unconfirmed scanner audio reviewed by Berkeleyside.
As the suspects attempted to flee in a stolen vehicle, the man tried to hold onto the car to prevent the robbery, according to preliminary information broadcast over the scanner. One reader, who got a view from a passing bus, described the grisly scene to Berkeleyside. He said he was concerned to see a vehicle speeding the wrong direction on Durant just below Fulton around 2 p.m.
“I was … approaching the turn on to Durant, stopped at the light, when the car came racing through the intersection,” he said. “The poor guy was face down on the street with a corona of blood around his head when we passed him a few minutes later.”
Berkeley Police Lt. Joe Okies told Berkeleyside that limited information would be available until early next week when robbery detectives have a chance to review the case. Okies confirmed that there were 3 thefts followed by a strong-arm robbery in Berkeley on Friday afternoon. Okies confirmed one person was injured as a result.
Suspect descriptions were not available Friday.
According to unconfirmed scanner audio, incidents related to the crime spree were reported at a coffee shop at the Ed Roberts Campus, at 3075 Adeline St.; Starbucks at 2128 Oxford St.; and Peet’s Coffee, at 2255 Shattuck Ave.
The getaway vehicle also struck a vehicle on Durant Avenue and Fulton Street as the driver fled, according to scanner audio. Witnesses lost sight of it around Shattuck and University avenues, according to the scanner. The vehicle had been reported stolen from Oakland.
A laptop was taken in at least one of the incidents. And a witness told police, in one instance, three people came through the shop on foot, then fled to a waiting vehicle, which sped away.
As police were responding to the initial theft reports, an officer driving near Durant and Fulton was flagged down by witnesses who had seen a man hanging off the side of a vehicle. The officer reported it to a dispatcher, who said no one had yet called that incident in. The officer then spotted an individual lying in the middle of the street on Durant west of Fulton. Firefighter-paramedics were quickly on the scene.
Paramedics took the man “Code 3” — using lights and sirens — to Highland Hospital for medical treatment.
Berkeleyside will update this story if additional information becomes available.