Man assaulted and killed in Berkeley, suspect detained

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The city of Berkeley saw its second homicide of the year Saturday night, when a man was assaulted and killed in North Berkeley, police say.

At about 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Berkeley Police Department received a call reporting a suspicious person possibly trespassing near the garage of the caller’s Shasta Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard home, according to the press release from the department.

Police said they did not immediately respond to the call because at the time patrol teams were being reconfigured to monitor Occupy Oakland’s march into Berkeley, slated to leave Oakland at 9 p.m.

“Only criminal, in-progress emergency calls were to be dispatched, due to reduction in officers available to handle calls for service,” BPD Lt. Andrew Greenwood said in an email.

Minutes after the woman’s husband confronted the suspect and told him to leave, the husband walked outside and was allegedly assaulted by the suspect.

According to Greenwood, the department subsequently received a call about an attack on Park Gate Road, to which officers were immediately dispatched.

Physicians pronounced the victim dead at the hospital.

“Additional BPD patrol officers went to the area to support the community member who called, as well as complete other aspects of the investigation such as securing the crime scene, completing neighborhood canvasses, talking to witnesses and searching for the suspect,” reads the release.

A man matching the suspect description was spotted less than a block from the scene. Officers identified the man as 23-year-old Alameda resident Daniel Jordan Dewitt, according to the release. Dewitt was arrested on suspicion of homicide and booked at the Berkeley Jail. An arraignment is set for Wednesday.

Sarah Burns is the assistant city news editor.