Police investigate gunfire that led to a police chase from West Berkeley onto the freeway
Police responded to two separate incidents of gunfire, several hours apart, in the same West Berkeley neighborhood Oct. 10-11, 2020. Photo: Citizen reporter

A 19-year-old Berkeley man police say fired multiple rounds from his vehicle then led officers on a brief chase onto the freeway on a recent weekend has been charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor, according to court papers.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Yoav Pedroza-Deltoro last week with discharging a gun with gross negligence, shooting from a vehicle, and carrying a loaded and concealed firearm. He was also charged with misdemeanor evasion in connection with the police chase.

According to charging documents, Berkeley police officers had been stationed in West Berkeley at Seventh Street and Channing Way on Oct. 10 — following gunfire earlier that night — when they heard two gunshots coming from a vehicle at Channing and Eighth Street. They heard five more rounds and saw the vehicle speed south on Eighth.

An officer tried to stop the vehicle, police wrote, but it sped away at 70 mph heading toward Ashby Avenue and the I-80 freeway. Police said they were able to get behind the vehicle on the freeway and turned on emergency lights to pull the driver over. But he still didn’t stop.

“The vehicle continued to drive on I-80WB for approximately 1 mile, and eventually yielded onto the left hand shoulder of I-80WB” in Emeryville, police wrote. Officers arrested the driver, Pedroza-Deltoro, and one passenger at gunpoint, according to charging documents. (The passenger ultimately was not charged in connection with the case, according to court records online.)

Police said they found casings in the vehicle in plain view and later, after obtaining a search warrant, also located a concealed, loaded handgun, which had been reported stolen out of Rocklin, California, near Sacramento, in 2016, according to charging papers.

“Two independent witnesses identified the car as the one they saw leaving the area after they heard the gunshots,” police wrote.

Gunfire has been on the rise in Berkeley in recent years: In 2018, the city had 20 shootings. Last year there were 28.

This year, with more than two months to go, Berkeley has already had 31 incidents of gunfire, killing three people and wounding 10, according to a Berkeleyside analysis. At least 14 of these shootings have been in West Berkeley’s District 2 or right on its border.

At least five other incidents — which saw four people wounded over about five weeks — took place in the same immediate neighborhood as the Oct. 10-11 gunfire.

At this time, police say they do not believe Pedroza-Deltoro is responsible for other shootings that have taken place in the area.

According to court records online, Pedroza-Deltoro is no longer in custody despite a bail of $100,000. He is scheduled for his preliminary hearing — where a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial — Nov. 12.

On Wednesday, according to court records online, he denied all the charges that have been filed against him.

"*" indicates required fields

See an error that needs correcting? Have a tip, question or suggestion? Drop us a line.

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...