Man charged with sex crime attack of UC Berkeley student

Zaid Albeetar, 26, was charged with intent to commit a sex crime, sexual battery by restraint and other felonies.

Man charged with sex crime attack of UC Berkeley student
UCPD said the incident began at Kip's Bar near campus. Emilie Raguso/Aipsasiamedia

UC Berkeley police detectives say they have tracked down a man who attacked a Cal student and tried to sexually assault her after she rejected him at a bar near campus this month.

Detectives from the University of California Police Department solved the case with the help of surveillance footage, witness statements and vehicle registration records, according to court papers.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Alameda County district attorney's office charged Zaid Albeetar with intent to commit a sex crime, sexual battery by restraint, two counts of attempted sexual penetration — which are all felonies — and three misdemeanor counts of battery against the UC Berkeley student and her friend.

The 26-year-old food truck owner from Oakland remains in custody as of publication time. No bail amount was listed.

According to court records, Albeetar first approached the young women outside Kip's Bar, at 2439 Durant Ave., shortly after midnight on Sunday, Feb. 4. They had never met him before.

The man put his arm around one of the women but she rejected his advances, according to police.

Then he pulled up her dress and touched her between the legs over her leggings, UCPD wrote in charging papers.

The women left the area but Albeetar followed them through the Southside neighborhood near campus, according to UCPD.

He caught up with them on a path near the Tang Center, at 2222 Bancroft Way, police wrote.

That's when Albeetar came up behind the woman he had touched earlier and grabbed her, police said.

He threw her into the bushes and tried to pull down her leggings while ripping her shirt and attempting to sexually assault her, according to charging papers.

Albeetar repeatedly called the woman a "bitch" and struck her in the face and stomach during the attack, police wrote.

When her friend tried to intervene, he slapped her in the face several times, according to UCPD.

UC Berkeley police seek tips after sexual battery of student
Police said the assailant was a stranger who repeatedly slapped the student’s friend when she intervened.

UCPD detectives were able to identify Albeetar through the license plate on his black Lexus RX 350, which they spotted on surveillance footage as he fled the scene, UCPD wrote.

They entered the Lexus into the system as a wanted felony vehicle.

On Friday afternoon, Piedmont police pulled Albeetar over and arrested him outside the Grand Lake Ace Hardware.

According to court papers, Albeetar was wearing the same distinctive jacket when he was arrested as he wore on the night of the sex crime attack.

Records from Kip's Bar also confirmed that Albeetar had been inside the bar that night, according to charging papers.

Read more about sex crimes in Berkeley.

In his statement to police, UCPD wrote, Albeetar denied intending to rape the young woman or digitally penetrate her.

But he did identify himself in surveillance footage and admitted he had followed the women from the bar, according to UCPD.

He said he had attacked them and grabbed one of their breasts "because he was angry" about being rejected at Kip's, UCPD wrote.

Albeetar has no prior criminal cases in Alameda County, according to court records online.

He is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday morning.

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For more information on sexual violence prevention and resources, UCPD directed members of the campus community to its survivor support website.