The Upper Fire Trail in Berkeley. Photo: Carter Tomassi

Authorities are looking for a man who tackled a UC Berkeley student while she was jogging Thursday evening, groped her and tried to take off her clothing on a trail in the Berkeley Hills.

The woman was jogging on the Upper Fire Trail at about 7 p.m. Thursday when a man ran up behind her and tackled her to the ground, police said. He tried to take off the student’s shorts, and also fondled her, said the University of California Police Department in a prepared statement.

The woman, whose age was not provided, fought off the man and he ran away. Police described the assailant as a white man in his 50s with a medium build, gray collar-length hair and a full gray beard. He was wearing khaki pants and a T-shirt of unknown color.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call UCPD at 510-642-6760.

The fire trail is located in the Berkeley Hills south of Centennial Drive and the University of California Botanical Garden, north of Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve and Skyline Ridge.

The Upper Fire Trail in the Berkeley Hills. Image: Google Maps

UCPD provided the following safety tips and context:

  • Rape and sexual assault are never the fault of the survivor. It is the behavior of the perpetrator that is wrong.
  • Sexual assault and rape can happen to people in all contexts, including marriage, dating relationships, friendships, child-parent interactions, employer-attendant relationships and stranger interactions.
  • Survivors of sexual assault can call the Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) 24-hr line: 510-845-RAPE (7273)

For students, there are additional resources:

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...