Civic Center Park is right across the street from Berkeley High School. Image: Google Maps

Update, March 5: The Alameda County district attorney’s office declined to press charges against Spikes.

Original story, March 1: Police arrested a 21-year-old man at Civic Center Park on Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of selling marijuana to a Berkeley High student, authorities report.

Officers in plainclothes were conducting surveillance in the park, which is right across from the high school, when they saw a man sell drugs to a BHS student, said Officer Byron White, Berkeley police spokesman, in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry.

Police set up the surveillance operation in response to “complaints of drug activity” at the park, White said. The park, officially named Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, is located just across Allston Way from the high school. The park spans the block from Milvia Street west to Martin Luther King Jr. Way and from Allston Way north to Center Street.

After watching the hand-to-hand drug sale, police arrested Brandon Omari Spikes, who also goes by the name Brandon Omari Vallentiny-Stamp, in the park without incident, White said. He was arrested just after 4:45 p.m., according to jail records online.

When police searched Spikes, they found cash and more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana in individual baggies, White said.

Spikes, a Berkeley resident, was arrested on suspicion of felony furnishing marijuana to a minor, police said.

According to the state Health and Safety Code, a violation of that law can result in a state prison sentence of three to five years.

Even though recreational use of marijuana is now legal in California, it is not legal for people under 21.

Spikes was taken to Berkeley Jail and held on $100,000 bail, according to jail records online. He was set for arraignment Friday at Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

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...