UC Berkeley student fights off armed robber, narrowly escapes into dorms

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Police at U.C. Berkeley are looking for an armed man who tried to rob a female student early Saturday morning. She fought to get herself to safety and narrowly made it into one of the dorms.

"She's OK. She's obviously shaken-up," said a UC Berkeley student who lives in the same dorm suite as the woman seen on the ground in a surveillance picture taken at Unit 1. It shows the man who police say had just tried to rob her. He's looming outside the door with what appears to be a gun in his hand.

"Something along the lines of 'give me your stuff, I have a gun, I'll shoot,' basically and so she said her first reaction was to take off," she said.

The woman was walking home around 4:30 a.m. Saturday in the area of College Avenue and Channing Way.

The UC Berkeley student says, "The way she described it seemed like it was a split second kind of like he decided that he was going to take advantage of her being a lone female walking," and adds that the man caught up to the woman and put her in a loose chokehold, then she wiggled free and ran towards the dorm. He grabbed her jacket and tennis racket when those slid-off her back she made it inside to safety.

"I had no idea. That's kind of scary," said a fellow U.C. Berkeley student, Joy Day.

Day says she receives notices about robberies and thefts several times week.

"Honestly, at this point I'm kind of numb to it. It's like dang, oh that happened, that sucks, but it's good to hear about it because then you know what areas to stay away from around campus," said Day.

Police describe the attempted robber as a light skinned man in his 20's, 5'8" tall and 175 pounds, with dark hair possibly styled in cornrows. He wore a dark hoodie, acid washed jeans, black shoes, and held the handgun in his left hand.

"We put out a Nixle alert so hopefully if someone has more information, then they'll be able to get us that information so we can track down the suspect," said Sgt. Tom Syto with the UC Berkeley Police Department.

UC Berkeley offers shuttle and night walk services.
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