Tag Archives: homeless

Acid attack comes to America: Homeless man hurls caustic chemical at UC Berkeley janitor

Acid and other corrosive chemical attacks are increasingly frequent in gun-control UK. See:

A victim of acid attack in Southampton, England, September 2015 (BBC photo)

Now acid attacks have come to America as well.
On April 3, 2018, at 1:35 a.m., a female janitor of the University of California, Berkeley, found a homeless man in a restroom in Wheeler Hall. She told the man he had to leave because the building was closed.
The man followed her out of the bathroom, then “threw a caustic chemical at her,” before fleeing the scene, according to a statement by UCPD (University of California Police Department).
The Berkeley Fire Department took the woman to a local emergency room for treatment of chemical burns.
Police searched the area for the suspect but could not locate him, said UCPD spokesman Sgt. Nicolas Hernandez. Hernandez declined to say whether UCPD has leads in the case or whether there might be surveillance video that could help detectives identify the assailant, also due to the ongoing investigation. Hernandez indicated that this type of assault is not a common occurrence on campus: “I’ve heard of it in my career before but I couldn’t tell you what the numbers are.”
According to recordings of police scanner activity that morning, paramedics said the bottle of fluid used in the assault was “essentially ammonia concentrate” and that the woman received burns on her torso.
The suspect is described as a white man in his 50s, 5′ 6″ to 5′ 7″ tall, with a white “scruffy” beard and white hair. He appeared to be homeless.
Anyone who has information about the crime is asked to contact the University of California Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau at 510-642-0472.
Sources: Berkeleyside; CBS SF
See also:

Update (April 20, 2018):

The assailant is William Kearney, 62, a convicted pedophile. More here.
William Kearney

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Berkeley homeless greet newly-elected pro-homeless mayor by smearing feces on City Hall

On November 8, the already far-left city of Berkeley, CA, tilted further to the left when residents voted in an even farther-left mayor and city council.

Jesse Arreguín (l) was endorsed by socialist Bernie Sanders (Photo courtesy of Arreguín; Source: Berkeleyside)

In an 8-candidate, ranked-choice voting, City Council member Jesse Arreguín was voted mayor with 15,912 votes.

A Democrat Party activist who, according to his biography, “has been passionately committed to social justice from an early age,” 32-year-old Arreguín has never held a regular private-sector job, and is pro-rent control and an advocate for the “homeless”.

On December 1, 2016, Arreguín was sworn in as mayor.
The next day, December 2, at around 5:15 a.m., about 20 police officers, accompanied by Berkeley’s code enforcement manager Greg Daniel and Assistant City Manager Jim Heyns, raided a homeless encampment just north of City Hall and a block from a high school.

As reported by Tracey Taylor for Berkeleyside, the raid was prompted by the discovery of feces spread “over a period of 24 hours, at various places on or near City Hall.” The city also reported problematic behavior from campers including public masturbation and offensive chalk messages on the sidewalks.

City Manager Dee Willams-Ridley described in a statement a number of “problematic behaviors” that had occurred during the 72 hours before the police raid:

November 30: In the morning, feces was discovered spread across the back walkway and back gate of City Hall. Staff immediately responded and cleaned it. That evening, staff exiting City Hall found the front door, door handle and door glass smeared with feces. We immediately responded and cleaned it.
December 1: The front door, door handle, and door glass were once again smeared with feces. Residents and visitors conducting business with the City, employees and guests coming for the Council swearing-in ceremony were told to enter through the back door. The first floor bathroom inside the Human Resources Department was also smeared with feces.

December 2: The north entrance door of Berkeley’s historic Old City Hall and the heating furnace at the Veterans Building were covered in excrement.

Civilian staff – who have acted with great dignity and professionalism in cleaning up feces – have reported that they have been treated in a hostile manner by members of the encampment for cleaning up the excrement. In addition, civilian staff have seen members of the camp masturbate and engage in sexual behavior at the site. City unions have also expressed concern about working conditions.

In addition to feces, the city’s civilian staff also found paint and chalk swastikas and messages on the sidewalk advocating suicide and “Fuck the Police”. Altogether, the staff removed 12 cubic yards of garbage, food, end caps of needles, mildewed or soiled fabric, broken chairs, and other debris. There were no arrests and no citations.

Willams-Ridley said that prior to the raid, city staff and a city homeless outreach worker from the Mental Health Division had been visiting the camp for several weeks to offer resources.

This is not the first time the largely same group of homeless people has been asked to leave a camp on public property. There have been several similar raids over the past two months.

By lunchtime on Dec. 2 after the police raid, some of the campers had already set up on the sidewalk across from the former camp, on the corner of Center and Milvia streets.

Mike Lee, of the homeless advocacy group First They Came for the Homeless and former candidate for Berkeley mayor, said he was furious because newly elected mayor Jesse Arreguín had assured homeless leaders that he would stop such raids from happening and would be an advocate for the homeless.

Today, mayor Arreguín is bringing a number of proposals to the City Council which will include a recommendation to allow homeless camping in designated areas, the locations of which  have yet to be determined.


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Seattle Mayor: We need more tent cities

Progressive Seattle Mayor Ed Murray


KOMO: Mayor Ed Murray says there’s been a recent spike in the number of illegal homeless encampments in Seattle, and he wants additional “tent cities” approved to help address the issue.

A press release from the Mayor’s office states that the mayor will send proposed legislation to the City Council next month “to make a limited number of unused, vacant lots on private and public land” available for encampments. The areas included are not in residential neighborhoods or parks.

A task force Murray convened in October recommended that Seattle make it easier for tent cities to operate with oversight and legal services. “In recent months, more illegal encampments have popped up on our streets and sidewalks than ever before and the need for alternative spaces has grown immensely,” the mayor wrote in a letter to the task force last week.

Encampments have stirred controversy around Seattle, with politicians and advocates disagreeing about whether they save people from the streets or siphon resources away from safer, cleaner, more permanent options.

A handful of authorized encampments and many more unauthorized ones already exist in Seattle. Religious institutions are allowed to host tent cities with few restrictions, but encampments are allowed elsewhere only under temporary-use permits. The city funds 1,724 shelter beds in Seattle. An annual count of homeless residents in January found 3,123 people living on the streets of the city and King County.

Murray did not say how many lots should be opened, and his press secretary, Jason Kelly, declined to give a number. The task force called for seven.

Last year, a bill sponsored by Councilman Nick Licata would have allowed tent cities for up to a year on nonreligious properties in industrial and commercial zones. The council voted against it.

Murray said his proposed legislation will build off Licata’s. It calls for organizations operating the encampments to collect data about their clients; city money should only go to organizations that comply, he said. The mayor also said he would push for 150 additional shelter beds by early 2015, including at least 15 reserved for youth.

Murray balked at the task force’s proposal that some community centers be used to provide shelter, saying the centers must continue to focus on services for seniors and children, such as the city’s new preschool program.

The council last month set aside $200,000 in the city’s 2015 budget to help carry out the task force’s recommendations and $100,000 to support encampments.

Murray wrote that he has a separate advisory group working on long-term solutions to the city’s affordable-housing crisis.

Maybe Murray should set up a separate advisory group and task force to evaluate policies that lead to homelessness? He just might find a common thread.


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