Police are investigating the daytime sexual assault at gunpoint of a high school-aged girl in Berkeley on Thursday. Image: Google Maps

A high school girl walking in Berkeley on Thursday morning was held at gunpoint and raped by a man she did not know, authorities report.

Police said the sexual assault took place between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The “high school-aged girl,” whose exact age was not released, had been walking in the 1500 block of Addison Street, near Sacramento Street, when someone grabbed her from behind. A stranger “covered her mouth and pressed a gun into her side while telling her not to scream,” BPD said Friday.

The man then forced the girl into the side yard of a home to the east on Addison, where he raped her. The sexual assault took place a half-mile from Berkeley High School. Police said they could not release the girl’s age or where she goes to school, however, based on the nature of the crime and because of the girl’s privacy.

The girl called police after the assault, and the investigation began, according to BPD.

The rapist was described as black, possibly in his 30s, and was 5 foot 7 with a medium build. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

“Officers and detectives have been on scene canvassing the neighborhood for possible witnesses or homes with exterior video surveillance cameras,” BPD said.

One reader alerted Berkeleyside to the case Thursday, writing, “Police are investigating alleged sexual assault from this morning at 11am near Addison and Sacramento.” The reader said at least two officers were interviewing people on Addison as of about 2 p.m. looking for witnesses and surveillance cameras.

Berkeleyside requested further information from the Berkeley Police Department on Thursday, which confirmed an investigation was underway at that location but declined to release further detail due to the early stage of the investigation.

Friday afternoon, the department put out a statement publicly about the crime, and asked for the community’s help. BPD asks anyone with a surveillance camera in the neighborhood to review their footage and call police with relevant information. The Berkeley Police Sex Crimes Detail is at 510-981-5716.

Berkeleyside will update this story if additional information becomes available.

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...