8th-grade girl’s backpack stolen in South Berkeley

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An eighth-grade girl was biking home from Willard Middle School on Friday in South Berkeley when her backpack was stolen, as news outlets across the country have reported.

Kassiopeia O’Melay, who is 14 years old, was at the intersection of Russell and Wheeler streets when a dark-colored sedan drove up close to her just after 5 p.m., as various news outlets have reported.

“The front passenger window rolled down, an arm reached out, picked up my backpack and then the car hit my bike and drove off really quickly,” O’Melay said in a video interview with KGO-TV. “I still can’t get that image out of my head.”

O’Melay left the scene with scrapes and bruises after the suspect knocked her off the bike, which is now badly damaged. Police have yet to identify at least two suspects involved in the robbery, according to news outlets.

Her backpack contained school supplies, an iPod and her EpiPen to treat her bee allergy, but nothing of “real value — just stuff that was really important to me,” O’Melay said in the video.

Nevertheless, community members have been “really supportive,” O’Melay added, and have donated school supplies and a new bike in time for her second week of school.

Hannah Piette is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Hannah_PietteDC.