Patrons eating in a shared parklet area outside two Berkeley restaurants were scared by an armed man throwing rocks over the weekend, police said. Credit: Kelly Owen

Police arrested a man with a large hunting knife who scared patrons outside two popular downtown Berkeley restaurants over the weekend and used a rock to shatter the front window at one of them, authorities report.

The man, identified as 46-year-old Ronald Agabao (no address), has already been charged with several felonies in connection with the disturbance on University Avenue outside Bobby G’s Pizzeria and Imm Thai Street Food on Saturday afternoon.

Agabao also threw a rock at a man working in the area, police said, leaving him with an injury to the shoulder and upsetting others in the vicinity.

The incident began Saturday around 3:30 p.m., said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesperson, when Agabao arrived on University, just west of Shattuck Avenue, and began trying to hang an umbrella from a nearby tree.

He was yanking on the tree, damaging it, when a person who works nearby told him to stop, White said. Agabao got upset, White said, and pulled out a large hunting knife, “scaring everyone.”

Police said a man pulled out a knife during a disturbance outside two Berkeley restaurants over the weekend. Credit: BPD

The worker — it wasn’t immediately clear from available records whether he worked at one of the restaurants or elsewhere — grabbed a chair to keep Agabao away from him, White said.

Agabao then threw two rocks, hitting the worker with one of them and shattering the Bobby G’s window with the other, according to White. The vandalism caused $1,200 in damage, he said.

Patrons eating in the shared parklet space outside the restaurants “were understandably scared away,” White said. Diners fled the area, seeking safety.

According to BPD, Agabao then picked up an iPhone and wallet that had been left behind and took them with him when he left, too.

Officers found Agabao at the downtown Berkeley BART station and arrested him. Four people identified him as the person from the disturbance, which was also captured on surveillance footage, BPD said. (BPD declined to release that footage at the time of this report.)

While searching Agabao, police recovered the stolen phone and wallet and returned them to their owner, White said. Officers also recovered a hunting knife.

Ronald Agabao. Credit: BPD

According to BPD, Agabao denied throwing any stones but admitted he had used a knife during the incident on University. He said he did so in self-defense, BPD said.

Agabao was already on probation in Alameda County at the time of his arrest in connection with a 2019 assault case, according to court records online. He was also charged with felony forgery that year, but that case was ultimately dismissed.

After he was taken to Berkeley Jail on Saturday, Agabao was placed on a 5150 hold out of concern that he posed a danger to himself.

Once that concern passed, he was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and was charged Monday with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, felony vandalism and four misdemeanors, according to court records.

Agabao, who works as a driver according to jail records, is being held with a bail of $97,500 and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Oct. 6 at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

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...