A roundup of some of the most serious crimes in Berkeley in recent weeks appears below. Send tips to Berkeleyside with your public safety questions. Arrested or charged individuals are presumed innocent.
CHARGES FILED IN GUN CASE Last week, police made a “high-risk” arrest on Acton Street related to gun violence in Berkeley, but details were scarce. On Monday, Berkeleyside reviewed court files in the case to get more information. According to court papers, the investigation began May 30 when a driver pulled up next to people in a car parked by San Pablo Park in southwest Berkeley at 6:45 p.m. and fired nine times “in the direction of the crowded park and tennis courts. A large volume of people were visiting the park at the time of the shooting for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.”
Video surveillance showed people running from the park in fear, police wrote, and witnesses reported that a BMW fled the scene. Investigation into that vehicle led back to Reginald Patillo Jr., police wrote, who lives on Acton Street two blocks from the shooting. Police also identified Patillo, in part, by his “distinct facial tattoo,” according to the report.
“Cell phone data for Patillo’s cell number showed he was on scene at the time of the shooting and also moved in the same direction” that the suspect vehicle fled, police wrote.
On Friday, police arrested Patillo at his Acton Street home, between Oregon and Ward streets, on a warrant related to the May 30 shooting investigation. BPD also searched the premises “and detectives recovered three loaded semi-automatic handguns (one of which was reported stolen), two high capacity magazines (to include a 50 round drum magazine) and 54 rounds of ammunition which he hid in a sump pump hole full of water prior to exiting the house,” according to court papers.
On Monday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Patillo with four felonies related to the possession of firearms and ammunition by a felon.
Charges were not filed in connection with the May 30 shooting.
Patillo has served time in state prison and has felony convictions for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and cocaine sales, according to court records.
He also has prior arrests for “illegal firearm possession, battery with serious bodily injury, burglary and sexual intercourse with a minor,” police wrote.
As of Monday, Patillo remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin with a bail of $160,000 and was scheduled for arraignment Tuesday at Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland, according to court records online.
GUNFIRE AFTER CHILD EXCHANGE Police arrested a 29-year-old Berkeley father on Sunday evening after he reportedly fired a gun through his own door on Allston Way, at the stepfather of his 7-year-old daughter, following a domestic dispute downtown, authorities report. After shooting the gun but missing the stepfather, police said, the father attacked the man, and the father’s brother then used pepper spray to break up the fight. During the arrest, police seized several guns they found in the father’s home and vehicle, authorities said.
Police were initially called to Allston Way, near Curtis Street in southwest Berkeley, just before 5 p.m. Sunday when gunfire broke out. Officers learned through their investigation that problems had begun earlier in the day in downtown Berkeley, said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesperson, during a child exchange. White said the girl’s father and mother had argued during that interaction and the father, identified as Michael Jenkins, threw a handful of coins at the woman before leaving with the girl. Jenkins then displayed a gun and drove away, White said.
After that heated interaction, the mother and her husband decided they should bring the girl home, police said. The pair then went to Allston Way to get the child back, White said. When the stepfather walked up to Jenkins’ metal screen door, White said, Jenkins fired a gun at him, missing. The stepfather then retreated to his vehicle and tried to drive away, but Jenkins punched him and stopped him from leaving, said White.
Jenkins’ brother then intervened in the dispute and pepper-sprayed both men as police arrived. Officers later searched Jenkins’ home and found what they identified as the pistol he had used to shoot through his door, White said. Police also found a loaded firearm in Jenkins’ vehicle and an assault rifle in his apartment, according to BPD. In the home, police also found the lower portion of an unregistered P80 firearm, White said.
Police arrested Jenkins on suspicion of assault with a firearm on a person and domestic violence, which are both listed as misdemeanors, and child abuse likely to produce great bodily injury, which is listed as a felony. As of Monday, Jenkins remained in custody at Berkeley Jail with a bail of $175,000 and was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday at 9 a.m. at Wiley Manuel, according to court records online.
Berkeley has had 20 confirmed gunfire calls in 2021. Last year at this time, there had been 12.
ANTI-GAY HATE CRIME ARREST A man reported to have used a guitar to attack a man sleeping in a downtown Berkeley tent encampment while making “disparaging comments toward people of the LGBTQ community” has been charged with assault and criminal threats, which are both felonies, as well as a hate crime, according to police and court records.
On Thursday just before 9:45 p.m., police said 31-year-old Matthew Harris (no address) attacked a 51-year-old man asleep at an encampment near Shattuck Avenue and Blake Street: “Using the man’s nearby guitar, the suspect repeatedly struck the man in the face,” and also kicked and punched him while making homophobic comments, according to BPD.
The wounded man was taken to a local hospital with injuries to his head and upper body, police said. As of Monday, he had been released from the hospital. Police said the men were known to each other and had spoken earlier in the day, but that the attack was a surprise to the victim.
Harris fled before police arrived, but officers were able to identify him by his description and the nickname provided by witnesses, BPD said: “Because they frequently patrol the Shattuck Avenue corridor, Bike Force officers recognized the description of the suspect as someone they were familiar with and began to search for him.”
For more information about hate crimes and reporting, visit the CA Attorney General’s website
The next morning, officers on BPD’s bike patrol found Harris in the 2500 block of Haste Street, near People’s Park, and arrested him on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon; battery causing serious bodily injury; and willfully threatening a person based on their perceived characteristics, which is considered a hate crime.
On Monday, the DA’s office charged Harris with both felonies and the misdemeanor. He is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday at Wiley Manuel, according to court records online.
There have been more than a dozen reported hate crimes in Berkeley in 2021, a steep increase from the number reported last year.
TRIO CHARGED WITH BURGLARY A local resident whose home was burglarized July 5 set up an all-night sting operation outside his home to try to catch the thieves in the act — and it worked, police said. On July 5, the man came home around noon, to the 1300 block of Acton Street (near Gilman Street in northwest Berkeley), “to find the front door of his home kicked-in and that several construction tools and clothing were stolen,” police told Berkeleyside.
The man thought the culprits might come back, so he sat in his vehicle all night long to see if they would hit the home again. At 5:30 a.m. on July 6, the man’s wait paid off when the “unsuspecting burglars parked in front of the house and walked inside — prompting the resident to call BPD.”
Arriving officers found two people inside the home and a third waiting in the getaway vehicle. Also in the vehicle, police said, was the resident’s stolen property from the night before.
Police arrested all three people — Patrick Payopay, 37; Maria Castanon, 38; and Channa May, 37 — on suspicion of burglary and possession of stolen property. None of the individuals had a permanent address on file, police said.
On Wednesday, the DA’s office charged all three with burglary, a felony, and receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor, according to court records online. The next day, they entered not-guilty pleas.
As of Monday, Payopay and Castanon remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $55,000, while May had posted bail and been released. All three are scheduled for a pretrial hearing July 27 at Wiley Manuel, according to court records online.
BANK ROBBERY An 85-year-old Antioch man was arrested on suspicion of bank robbery last week, authorities report. The robbery took place at the Wells Fargo Bank at 2144 Shatuck Ave. (at Center Street) in downtown Berkeley on July 6 just after 1:10 p.m., police said. According to BPD, the man entered the bank and used a note to demand money. He left the bank but officers on BPD’s bike team arrested him shortly thereafter, police said. Charges have not been filed and the man is no longer in custody. Bank robberies are rare in Berkeley, with the city usually seeing just several a year.
HIT-AND-RUN, LOADED GUN Police arrested a man and woman from Oakland after they crashed into a house on Acton Street (near Haskell Street in southwest Berkeley) on July 4, then walked away from the collision, police report. At 5:40 p.m., police responded to the 3000 block of Acton on a report of a collision where a driver “lost control and collided” with a house. BPD said 44-year-old Jai Mclin, the driver, and 52-year-old Marna Bovian “walked away from the collision and were detained by officers shortly thereafter.”
During a vehicle search, police found heroin in a pill bottle “and the driver showed signs of intoxication,” according to BPD. “A loaded handgun was also found nearby, which was determined to belong to the passenger.”
Mclin and Bovian were arrested on suspicion of carrying a loaded/concealed handgun, carrying a concealed firearm, and possessing a large-capacity magazine, police said.
In addition, Mclin was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance, and other violations.
As of publication time, neither Mclin nor Bovian had been charged and both had been released from custody.
Mclin has a pending felony assault case from August 2020, according to court records online, in addition to several violent felony convictions on file.
Berkeley crime stats as of July 2021
CRIME SNAPSHOT From Jan. 1 through July 7, there were reports of at least 155 robberies, 365 assaults or batteries (including 61 felony assaults and 112 domestic violence incidents), 91 weapon-involved calls, 26 sex crimes and 44 arson calls, according to CrimeMapping.com, an official repository for local police data.
There were also 399 home and commercial burglaries (260 and 139, respectively), 506 stolen vehicles, 326 disturbances and 663 auto break-ins reported, according to CrimeMapping, and 1,125 theft reports: 728 misdemeanor thefts (under $950), 385 grand thefts (over $950) and 12 thefts from a person.
MORE POLICE DATA Find statistics related to BPD calls for service, arrests, jail bookings and demographic information, and other details, about police stops in the city’s open data portal. The city also posts a heat map showing 180 days of calls for service. See the crimes reported to BPD on CrimeMapping. The University of California Police Department used to post crime reports on CrimeMapping but it doesn’t seem to do so any longer. UCPD’s daily police log is online.