Berkeley police investigating 2 sexual assaults in less than week near People's Park

Berkeley police are investigating two sexual assaults of women in less than a week near People’s Park, which sits just blocks from the UC Berkeley campus.

Jennifer Coats with UC Berkeley Police said the most recent assault happened Tuesday, Feb. 16 around 11:30 p.m. on the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue. A woman was approached from behind and sexually assaulted.

A student, Kristle Garcia, said she heard yells outside her window, but did not know what was happening.

“Me and my roommate heard a girl scream, ‘Somebody stop him.’ We looked outside and we didn’t see anything,” Garcia said.

Last Thursday night, a female students walking on the 2500 block of Haste Street near People’s Park was grabbed and pushed to the ground. The attacker in this incident is described as a man in his mid-20’s, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, with curly hair and a beard.

Coats said investigators are not sure if the two cases are linked.

“Our investigators are following up on the cases trying to see if there is a connection with the cases, such as a similar MO or similar description,” she said.

Police recommend walking in well-lit areas, in groups, and to avoid being distracted by walking and texting or listening to music.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Berkeley Police Department.