Berkeley police: Driver arrested after intentionally hitting cyclist

The cyclist, a man in his 50s from out of state, declined medical help and the Berkeley Police Department said his injuries were not life-threatening.

Berkeley police: Driver arrested after intentionally hitting cyclist
Police say a driver ran into a cyclist at Oxford Street and University Avenue in downtown Berkeley on Thursday night. Google Street View

A cyclist was hurt and his bike sustained major damage when a driver intentionally struck him and ran over the bike in downtown Berkeley on Thursday night, authorities report.

The cyclist, a man in his 50s from out of state, declined medical help and the Berkeley Police Department said his injuries were not life-threatening.

The driver, who was reportedly in a red-and-white Volvo, initially left the scene.

She was arrested after walking into the police station in the hours after the crash to report that a cyclist had almost hit her, said Officer Jessica Perry, Berkeley police spokeswoman, in response to a Aipsasiamedia inquiry.

Read more about traffic safety in Berkeley.

Officers responded Thursday just before 8:20 p.m. to Oxford Street and University Avenue to investigate a report of a vehicular assault on a cyclist.

The cyclist had been riding on Hearst Avenue when a driver honked at him, BPD said.

"They exchanged words when they stopped at the light on Oxford and University," said Perry.

The driver then struck the cyclist and ran over the back of his bike when he tried to turn right onto University Avenue, according to BPD.

Numerous people saw what happened and told police the driver had intentionally run over the bike, which sustained hundreds of dollars in damage, Perry said.

Despite multiple callers who alerted police to the crash, initial reports lacked license plate information and details about the driver.

The trail seemed like it might run cold but, around 10 p.m., a woman walked into the lobby of the police department to say a cyclist had almost hit her while she was driving in the neighborhood.

Upon further investigation, Perry said, BPD arrested the driver on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the collision.

The driver was identified as a 49-year-old unhoused woman.

She remained in custody at Berkeley Jail as of publication time and was being held with a bail of $30,000, according to booking records online.

She is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday at Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.

Update, May 16: The Alameda County district attorney's office charged the driver on May 9 with felony assault with a deadly weapon. She has been released on her own recognizance and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing June 22, according to court records online.

Update, Aug. 24: This story was updated to remove the driver's name and booking photograph after the case was sent to a diversion program in August.

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