Police investigate a strong-arm robbery on Hillegass Avenue, near Dwight Way, in which two women were attacked and a phone taken, in Berkeley, on Sunday. Photo: David Yee

One woman was pushed to the ground, and another was punched in the face, during a robbery in the Southside neighborhood of Berkeley on Sunday night, authorities report.

Police responded at 9:26 p.m. to the strong-arm robbery, which had taken place in the 2500 block of Hillegass Avenue, said Berkeley Police Lt. Joe Okies.

The women were standing outside a home when a stranger approached and began to talk with them. After a “brief conversation,” he pushed one of the women to the ground. The other woman moved to help her friend, and the man punched the second woman in the face, Okies said.

Police said the robber was described as a black man in his 20s wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt. He took a cellphone from one of the women and ran to a dark-colored van that was waiting nearby. The driver fled northbound on Hillegass, then turned right on Dwight Way before continuing north on Bowditch Street.

According to scanner traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, the woman who was punched was left with a bloody nose, but declined medical care from paramedics.

This story was updated after publication with information from BPD.

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...