Update, Aug. 3: Police have identified the man arrested after a neighborhood search in Berkeley on Tuesday as 21-year-old Jovon Woodard (no address). BPD said officers also found a firearm with a high-capacity magazine near his belongings inside a house where he had been staying in the 1100 block of Channing Way.
BPD arrested Woodard on suspicion of resisting arrest and being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, as well as a criminal enhancement related to committing a crime while out on bail or one’s own recognizance. He is being held at Berkeley Jail on $85,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment Friday.
The incident began Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. when an officer saw Woodard — who had been flagged by authorities as wanted in connection with a murder case in another state — leave a home in the 1100 block of Channing Way. Authorites tried to detain him near Chaucer and Curtis streets, BPD said: “Instead of stopping, the suspect ran from officers to behind the homes of the residential neighborhood.”
Police set up a perimeter to search the block and called in help from the Alameda County sheriff’s office, which provided a helicopter, drones and a K-9. Officers found Woodard hiding in the crawl space of a home in the 1100 block of Channing and arrested him just after 5:10 p.m.
Updated story, Aug. 2: Police have located a wanted man who ran from officers when they tried to detain him in southwest Berkeley on Tuesday afternoon, authorities report.
BPD found the man hiding in the crawl space of a house in the 1100 block of Channing Way shortly before 5:25 p.m. A resident said she saw officers go into a neighbor’s yard with a police K-9, weapons drawn and shields. Police then brought out the wanted man and put him into a cruiser, she said.
Police did not find a firearm when they took the man into custody but the investigation and evidence collection remains underway. BPD said earlier that they believed the man could be armed.
According to several reports from officers who are not authorized to speak on the record with the media, the man was wanted in connection with a murder investigation in another jurisdiction. BPD would not confirm that information as of 6:20 p.m.
The incident began at about 2:15 p.m. when police tried to stop the man for an undisclosed reason, BPD said earlier in the day.
Police set up a perimeter bounded by Curtis Street and San Pablo Avenue to the east and west and Bancroft Way and Dwight Way to the north and south. Authorities asked community members to stay out of the area and advised local residents to stay inside.
Neighbors told Berkeleyside that much of the activity was concentrated in the 1100 block of Chaucer Street where numerous officers with long guns took cover behind trees and cars.
“We heard yelling about an hour ago but now it’s just quiet and weird,” one neighbor told Berkeleyside just before 3:20 p.m.
Another neighbor described “Many officers in kevlar and serious weapons in evidence.”
Berkeley PD brought in its white armored panel van for officer safety, police said.
During the operation, officers used drones from the Alameda County sheriff’s office to try to locate the man. (BPD is not allowed under current city policy to have its own drones.)
As of just before 5 p.m., police were using four drones as well as a helicopter, also on loan from the sheriff’s office, to locate the wanted man.
A neighbor told Berkeleyside she could hear an officer making announcements at about that time related to the possible use of a police K-9 to aid the search.
“The drone looks like it’s over Chaucer right now,” she said. “Hard to see — they don’t want us to leave the house.”
As of 6:20 p.m., officers remained at the scene collecting evidence and conducting the investigation.
Berkeleyside will update this story when additional information becomes available.
This story was updated after publication due to the developing nature of events.