Two in custody after police chase, crash in Berkeley

Bay City News
Thursday, March 16, 2017
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A suspect who fled into Berkeley Wednesday night after a police chase that began in Oakland was taken into custody.

BERKELEY, Calif. -- A suspect who fled into Berkeley Wednesday night after a police chase that began in Oakland was taken into custody.

The incident began at about at about 6:50 p.m., near 14th and Harrison streets in Oakland.

During the chase, the suspect allegedly rammed into an officer's patrol vehicle, according to the dispatcher.

WATCH: Suspect in custody after chase, standoff in Berkeley

The officer suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Police won't say whether he was armed, but they said he did assault one of their own when he rammed into one of their patrol cars.

The suspect had a passenger in the truck and she has also been taken into custody after police found her inside one of the businesses on College Avenue.

It was not immediately clear what caused the chase.

After the chase, the suspect climbed onto the roof of a building on College Avenue where police negotiated with him.

WATCH: ABC7 News' Jim Huntington's report from the scene during the standoff

From what witnesses could tell, the man's activity up on the roof was largely uneventful. "He seems to be like this lanky white dude in a black t-shirt, he's just smoking cigarettes. I don't know what he's smoking, but he's smoking something on the roof," Brianna Honkawa said.

The collision that capped the high-speed chase through East Bay streets and freeways alarmed the upscale section of Berkeley.

When merchants and employees realized College Avenue was being overtaken by officers, they quickly sprang into action.

Some college students were buying ice cream nearby. "A lady came in and said 'open shooting, open shooting' and then all the staff helped us hide and made sure we were OK, locked all the doors, turned off the lights, gave us water, places to sit, made sure we were all safe," Liz Hofinga said.

There were no reports of gunshots.

Officers went on the roof and after more than an hour, convinced the suspect to come down.

It was a peaceful end to what was an intense evening for officers and the people of Berkeley. "We had a perimeter set up, really nowhere for him to go, we just sat back and had our tactical negotiators start talking with him until we could get him to surrender himself," Oakland Police Department Lt. Demetrio Lozares said.