Nine months ago, a UC Berkeley student who was home alone sleeping was attacked by a stranger with a gun who intended to sexually assault her.
This week, Berkeley police announced that the alleged assailant has been arrested and charged. Gabriel Jordan, 43, of Antelope was already facing a separate rape charge from a 2019 attack in Oakland, according to court papers, and police say Jordan is also responsible for “multiple robberies and burglaries” in the Southside neighborhood near the UC Berkeley campus.
According to court papers, the 21-year-old student was in her Warring Street apartment Sept. 27, 2020, sometime before 12:45 a.m. when a stranger broke in, woke her up and pointed a gun in her face. He then pulled back the woman’s covers and moved toward her bed, telling her, “Be quiet. You know what I’m doing,” according to court papers.
When the woman tried to flee, her attacker struck her repeatedly in the head and face with his gun, leaving the young woman with injuries that required five stitches and eight staples to fix, police said. The man fled the apartment, taking with him electronics including cellphones and computers as well as other personal items, BPD said.
Police tracked some of the items to Jordan’s home in Antelope, located in Sacramento County, BPD said. Officers also collected evidence at the scene “that would eventually be instrumental” in identifying Jordan, BPD said in a prepared statement.
That evidence included DNA, which ultimately came back as a match to Jordan, according to police.
BPD got another break in the case in January, police said, when a man with a gun robbed a maintenance worker on Haste Street near Piedmont Avenue then fled in a getaway car. The victim was able to get the car’s license plate number, and robbery detectives put out an alert to other agencies about the gray Honda Acura, identifying it as having been used to commit a felony.
Less than a week later, on Jan. 13, San Pablo police pulled Jordan over in the Acura and arrested him on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle and a firearm, according to BPD, along with other crimes.
Robbery detectives who searched the stolen car found property taken from multiple locations in Berkeley, according to BPD. That property included personal information belonging to more than 10 people, police said
The stolen items included mail from the Warring Street apartment building where the UC Berkeley student had been attacked, police said.
On June 15, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Jordan with assault with the intent to commit a sex crime, assault with a deadly weapon and home-invasion burglary, all three of which are felonies.
According to court papers, Jordan has seven felony convictions dating back to 2008 for crimes including assault with a force likely to produce great bodily injury, robbery, burglary and vehicle theft. In February of this year, Jordan was convicted in Contra Costa County of receiving stolen property, which was identified as a vehicle, and unlawful firearm activity.
As of Tuesday, Jordan remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $180,000 in connection with the Oakland rape case, as well as $465,000 in connection with the Berkeley robbery case. He appears to be ineligible for release on bail at this time due to the new charges against him.
Jordan is scheduled for arraignment in the new case July 9.
He is also scheduled to appear in court July 12 for the preliminary hearing — where the judge decides whether there is enough evidence for a case to proceed to trial — for both the Oakland rape case and the Berkeley robbery case.
In the rape case, according to court papers, a woman woke up at Oakland’s Highland Hospital in January 2019 with no memory of how she had gotten there. Her wallet and cellphone were gone. The woman had severe injuries to her face and had been raped.
Two months later, in March 2019, DNA taken during the woman’s sexual assault examination was found to match Jordan, according to court papers. That month, the Oakland Police Department put out a warrant for Jordan’s arrest. He was not arrested until January of this year.
In March of this year, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Jordan with the Oakland rape.
As for the Berkeley robbery case, of the maintenance worker in January, the incident began Jan. 8 when the worker found property in an apartment on Haste Street that was supposed to be vacant, according to court papers.
When the worker removed the property and put it in his car, police said, a man with a gun confronted him and demanded the property back. The man also pointed the gun at the worker’s head and demanded his wallet, police said.
When police interviewed Jordan, according to court papers, he told them they had it wrong, that the worker had actually taken his property.
“Jordan denied stealing the victims’ wallet,” police wrote, “and said that if he would have pointed the firearm at the victim he would have shot him.”
This week, BPD thanked multiple agencies — the FBI, Monterey County District Attorney’s Office and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, San Pablo PD, Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and SERI Laboratories — for their assistance in the Warring Street investigation.
Over the past six months, police in Berkeley have received more than 20 sex crime reports throughout the city, according to CrimeMapping.com, an online repository for local police data.
RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, offers a variety of resources for people who have experienced sexual violence and sexual harassment.