Police arrested a 55-year-old woman earlier this week after she made racial slurs and pushed a female pedestrian into the street in the Southside Berkeley neighborhood, authorities report.

The alleged assailant, Antoinette Archimede, “yelled several hateful statements about people of Mexican descent” during the encounter, which took place just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Berkeley Police Department said in a prepared statement about the hate crime arrest. Archimede’s race is listed as white in BPD records online.

Police said the pedestrian was a Hispanic woman in her 30s who had walked by Archimede as she rummaged through a garbage can. (Archimede, whose name is also spelled Archimedes in online records, has no permanent home address, BPD said.) Archimede yelled at the woman when she saw her walking by, according to BPD.

The pedestrian then tried to walk around Archimede, police said, but Archimede pushed the woman off of the curb, causing her to fall on her back about four feet into the roadway.

Police said they found Archimede in the 2500 block of Durant Avenue (near Telegraph Avenue) and arrested her on suspicion of the hate crime of willfully threatening a person based on their perceived characteristics, battery and probation violation, as well as an arrest warrant.

“The Berkeley Police Department recognizes and places a high priority on the rights of all individuals guaranteed under state and federal law,” BPD said in its prepared statement. “The commission of a hate crime is a serious offense, which will not be tolerated in the City of Berkeley.”

Archimede, who has more than 60 cases listed in Alameda County Superior Court’s online docket system, was issued a citation and is no longer in custody. The county adopted a “zero bail” schedule in 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to reduce the in-custody population in the interest of public health.

Charges have not been filed, according to records available online, but those decisions generally take longer when someone is out of custody.

Archimede’s recent active cases in Alameda County include a misdemeanor allegation of battery upon an officer or emergency personnel from November 2019 and two misdemeanor allegations from January 2020 of battery and battery upon an officer or emergency personnel.

Berkeleyside wrote about Archimede in 2018 when, according to BPD, a 15-year-old girl walking on Shattuck Avenue (near Berkeley Way) accidentally stepped on Archimede’s blanket as she sat on the sidewalk. The woman got upset, stood up, made a comment about the girl’s breasts and then touched them, according to BPD. The girl then left the area and later called police.

BPD arrested Archimede at that time on suspicion of sexual battery and violation of probation. The outcome of that case was not immediately available in records online.

For more information about hate crimes and reporting, visit the California attorney general’s website.

"*" 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...