People’s Park on Aug. 25, 2022, where felled trees rest alongside a new crop of tents from people occupying the site. Credit: Supriya Yelimeli

A 20-year-old Antioch woman was arrested by UC Berkeley police and charged with attempted murder Wednesday in an attack at People’s Park.

UCPD responded to People’s Park on Sunday at about 8 a.m. to a report of a tent on fire.

In court documents, UCPD Lt. Sebastian Ramirez said officers arrived at the park to find a suspect holding a shovel and standing near a person who was bleeding.

The suspect fled from the scene before police caught up with her across the street from the park, according to UCPD, and was later identified as Destiny Kellogg. Police said they saw a large shovel on the ground with blood on its metal tip after the suspect fled the area and a smaller shovel in front of the victim stained with blood.

The victim was bleeding from significant injuries on their head, seemed disoriented and was taken to Highland Hospital and placed under concussion protocol, according to UCPD.

UCPD arrested Kellogg on suspicion of assault Sunday, according to UCPD spokesperson Lt. Sabrina Reich, who said officers believed the attack was an anti-transgender hate crime.

Police said they reviewed video surveillance of the attack and saw the suspect strike the victim with the shovel multiple times over several minutes, aiming at the victim’s head. Officers said the victim told them there were at least three assailants in the attack.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office ultimately charged Kellogg with attempted murder at an arraignment Wednesday, and Kellogg pleaded not guilty.

Nicholas Alexander, a prominent activist at the park who is currently occupying the area to prevent UC Berkeley’s construction of a student housing complex at the site, said he was awakened by the attack Sunday morning.

Alexander said he witnessed two assailants attacking the victim. He said they were newcomers to the park who had arrived only days before the attack.

“They were two entirely new people, absolute strangers to the park,” Alexander said. “They had also been creating issues with other community members.”

The victim in the attack has been a regular at the park for at least a year, according to Alexander and other occupants.

After UC Berkeley began construction and erected fencing overnight on Aug. 3, dozens of activists tore them down and began occupying the park in defiance of the university’s plans to build there.

The university had previously worked with the city to provide housing for the homeless occupants sleeping at the park and cleared the area for the construction of the housing complex, which will create 1,100 student beds, and another 100 units of housing for extremely low-income residents with a nonprofit partnership.

Alexander said people who have been displaced from other encampments in the city and nearby have returned to the park.

There is currently a court order preventing construction at the park possibly until October. UC Berkeley says it is prioritizing safety for crews and anyone in the area as it determines how to move forward.

UC Berkeley is allowed to maintain fences around the park, but has not yet taken any steps to introduce security or remove vandalized construction equipment from the site.

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...