Berkeley police cruiser (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso Credit: Emilie Raguso

A man who walked up to a stranger with a large rock and struck him over the head in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday has been charged with hate crime allegations and two felonies related to the attack, authorities report.

Jeffrey Frazier Pachingger, who is 38 and homeless, told police he hit the victim with a rock “because of ‘an illegal Asian takeover,’” according to court papers.

The victim, an Asian man, lost “a large amount of blood” and was taken to the hospital after the attack. Police wrote in court papers that Pachingger, who is Hispanic, said he tried to kill the man “because of his ethnicity and his belief of an ‘Asian takeover.’”

Thursday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Pachingger, who already was on probation, with assault with a deadly weapon — a rock — and battery with serious bodily injury. Both counts include a special allegation that identifies them as hate crimes. Pachingger could be sent to prison if convicted.

According to court papers, the victim was at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and had bent down to unlock his bike when Pachingger “grabbed a rock, walked towards the victim from behind and hit him in the back of the head.”

The man “felt dizzy and thought he was going to lose consciousness,” police wrote, but he managed to run away because he was afraid Pachingger would strike him again.

First responders found the victim on Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Square. There was a laceration and bruising to his head, and paramedics took him to Alta Bates Hospital for treatment.

Pachingger, meanwhile, walked down to the Berkeley Police Department, several blocks west, and admitted to have hit the man, police wrote. He also made statements admitting to racial animus in the attack, according to court papers.

As of Thursday, Pachingger remains in custody. He is scheduled to enter a plea Friday at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland.

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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...