A suspect was taken into custody near the North Berkeley BART station at this morning after allegedly engaging in an hour-long crime spree in which he deliberately struck six vehicles, including two police patrol cars, and brandished a gun, police said. Oakland police said they received information at about 8:30 a.m. that a man in a black or gray four-door Mitsubishi was being driven in an erratic manner.
Officers then received a report a short time later that a similar car had intentionally struck another vehicle near East 23rd Street and Coolidge Avenue. Oakland police patrol cars were dispatched to the area but while they were driving to the scene, the suspect allegedly deliberately struck two patrol cars, although no officers were injured, police said. The suspect continued to hit multiple uninvolved civilian vehicles at different locations as he fled, police said.
A woman was injured in one of the collisions, which occurred at 39th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, but her injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening, according to police. Officers asked for and received support from a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew and coordinated a citywide and multi-agency search for the suspect, police said.
Police received a report that the suspect was pointing a firearm at citizens in West Oakland and at about 8:45 a.m. spotted his car near 14th and Filbert streets, where officers initiated a vehicle pursuit, police said. But officers decided to call off the pursuit after they weighed the speeds of the pursuit, the traffic conditions and the safety of the surrounding public against the need to immediately apprehend the suspect, according to police.
With the help of the CHP and surrounding law enforcement agencies, police eventually located the suspect’s vehicle again in the area of the 1700 block of Hearst Avenue in Berkeley at 9:22 a.m., according to police. The suspect, who police believed was armed, was observed walking away from the vehicle with his hands within his pockets so Oakland officers with less-lethal options, in addition to an armored vehicle, were dispatched to the scene, police said.
The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, was then taken into custody by Berkeley police officers a few minutes later, according to police. The suspect’s vehicle was also recovered, Oakland police Lt. Chris Bolton said.
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