The Berkeley Police Department. Photo: Kaia Diringer

A man brandishing a wooden stick was arrested in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday after threatening someone with the stick, then jamming it into an officer’s stomach, authorities report.

The incident, around 4 p.m. in the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue, near a popular downtown movie theater, drew significant community interest because many police officers responded to the call.

Berkeley Police Lt. Angela Hawk said a BPD officer was responding to a call when he “heard someone screaming” on the block. The officer looked over and saw one man “brandishing a wooden stick” at another man, Hawk said.

The officer stopped, and told the man with the stick to put it down, she said. But the man ignored him and started to walk off, she said.

The officer tried to detain the man, and he “jabbed the stick into the officer’s stomach.”

A “brief struggle” followed, Hawk said, then officers restrained the man and arrested him on suspicion of brandishing, assault with a deadly weapon, and resisting arrest. His name was not immediately available.

Hawk said there was no serious injury to the officer.

Update, April 25, 3:40 p.m. BPD identified the man who was arrested as Robert Russell, 69, of Berkeley.

This story will be updated 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...