Police said they recovered two Molotov cocktails and a machete during the recent arrest of Marty Schwind. Credit: BPD
Marty Schwind. Credit: BPD

Berkeley police arrested a man on probation over the weekend and found him in possession of two Molotov cocktails and a 1½-foot-long machete, authorities report.

Police had begun looking for Marty Schwind the prior weekend after he had reportedly thrown a Molotov cocktail at a passing Union Pacific train, said BPD Lt. Veronica Rodrigues. The homemade bomb caused minor damage to the train but did not result in delays or injuries.

Police found Schwind the day of the train incident, May 30, along the tree line in Aquatic Park, Rodrigues said. But he brandished a machete at officers and “took off running,” she said. Police did an extensive search for him but couldn’t locate him.

On Saturday, June 5, an officer saw Schwind walking down Fourth Street near Bancroft Way in West Berkeley and recognized him, Rodrigues said. The officer called for backup, believing Schwind was likely to run or fight, and ordered Schwind to stop.

Initially, Schwind tried to run from police, Rodrigues said, but officers were able to tackle him and arrest him.

When police searched Schwind, Rodrigues said, they found two Molotov cocktails — small glass Starbucks bottles that had been partially filled with gasoline and plugged with a cloth and a wooden dowel — as well as a machete with a 1½-foot-long blade. Police said it was the same machete Schwind had waved at police the prior week.

“We were able to get him in custody before he had the opportunity to use them again,” Rodrigues said.

Schwind, who has no permanent address on file, was also carrying a 4-inch steak knife, police said.

BPD’s bomb technicians inspected the Molotov cocktails and confirmed that they were incendiary devices, Rodrigues said.

Schwind had been placed on probation in Alameda County in February 2020 in connection with a 2019 robbery arrest, according to county court records online. He ultimately entered a no-contest plea for grand theft from a person and was placed on probation through March 2025.

In 2000, Schwind was convicted of murder in Solano County, according to court records online.

Last year in August, police arrested Schwind on suspicion of vandalism, criminal threats, brandishing a weapon and probation violation after he allegedly brandished two knives at officers trying to arrest him for smashing car windows at the Berkeley marina.

In that incident, Schwind jumped into the water at the Berkeley Marina while trying to evade capture, police said at the time, and ultimately had to be rescued by a Berkeley firefighter on a jet ski.

Schwind was initially charged with six felonies in that case — resisting arrest, exhibiting a deadly weapon to resist arrest and four counts of felony vandalism — but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Paul Delucchi dismissed the case in October 2020.

As of Monday, Schwind remained in custody at Berkeley Jail, where he was being held on 5 cents bail and also in connection with the probation violation. (Last year, in response to concerns about jail crowding amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Alameda County adopted a “zero bail” schedule to allow most individuals to go free pending future court hearings.)

Schwind is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, according to court records online.

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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 of the Year...