Half-naked man arrested on suspicion of rape attempt, home break-in

Police were investigating a report of a prowler outside a teenage girl’s window when a neighbor began screaming about a stranger in her home.

Police arrested a half-naked man on suspicion of several crimes, including attempted rape, on Wallace Street early Monday morning. Credit: Google Maps
Nicholas Eugene Wilkins. Credit: BPD

Police arrested a man who entered a woman’s bedroom with the goal of raping her early Monday morning and had been reported minutes earlier prowling outside a teenage girl’s bedroom, authorities report.

Neither the woman nor the girl knew the man — identified by police as 39-year-old Nicholas Wilkins (no address) — before the incidents unfolded on Wallace Street between Russell and Oregon streets in southwest Berkeley shortly after 1:30 a.m.

Initially, police were dispatched to a home in the 2800 block of Wallace to investigate a prowler who had been spotted looking into the girl’s window, Berkeley police said in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry.

“While officers were at the scene investigating the incident, they heard a woman screaming nearby,” said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesperson. “The woman was screaming for help and to call the police.”

Officers immediately went outside to see what was going on, White said. They saw a woman coming out of the home next door.

The woman told police she had woken up to find a stranger in her bedroom who was naked from the waist down, White said. The man was still inside her home, she told officers.

Police went into the home and found the half-naked man hiding in the woman’s bathtub, White said.

Officers arrested Wilkins on suspicion of attempted rape, burglary and attempted burglary, White said. Police found the man’s pants inside the woman’s home during their investigation.

Wilkins remains in custody with a bail of $125,000 and is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, according to jail records online.

Wilkins has no prior criminal charges or convictions in Alameda County, according to court records online.

But Berkeley police officers had arrested Wilkins about a week earlier, on Oct. 23, in the 2100 block of Seventh Street (near Allston Way) in connection with a misdemeanor warrant from another law enforcement agency, according to arrest records online reviewed by Berkeleyside.

In that incident, police said, a resident had woken up to the sound of someone outside their window at 1:25 a.m. Police arrested Wilkins nearby but he was later released according to Alameda County’s zero-bail program that was put in place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.