Oakland man gets 6 years for assaulting 2 Cal students with bat

Bay City News
Saturday, June 11, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. -- An Oakland man was sentenced today to six years in state prison for beating two University of California at Berkeley students with a metal baseball bat near campus two years ago.

Frank Watson, 25, was charged with two counts of attempted murder for attacking the students, who belonged to the Zeta Psi fraternity, in the fraternity's rear parking lot in the 2700 block of Durant Avenue at about 1:25 a.m. on April 27, 2014.

But the Alameda County District Attorney's Office recently agreed to a plea deal in which Watson pleaded no contest to two counts of the lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Berkeley police said officers responded to the fraternity on April 27, 2014, after they received a report of an assault with a deadly weapon and learned two groups were involved in a verbal argument that had turned physical.

Police said Watson had arrived at the scene during the altercation, grabbed a baseball bat from the trunk of a vehicle and struck the two victims in the head with the bat.

Watson then fled the area in a vehicle but officers located and stopped the vehicle at the intersection of Warring and Parker streets, where Watson then tried to flee on foot but was detained, according to police.

Authorities said one of the victims suffered a traumatic brain injury and needed reconstructive surgery to repair the injuries to his face and jaw.

It was a difficult year for the Zeta Psi fraternity because that November, six months after the baseball bat attack, 20-year-old Vaibhev Loomba of Lafayette, a UC-Davis student who was visiting Cal, died from alcohol poisoning at the frat house after attending a party there.

The fraternity lost its official accreditation with UC Berkeley in 2010 after it violated university rules.