Female UC Student Harassed, Threatened on Bus

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A female UC Berkeley student was harassed and threatened on a public bus southwest of the campus on the afternoon of Nov. 8.

The victim boarded an eastbound AC Transit bus at the Downtown Berkeley BART station at about 3 p.m., shortly after which three men entered the bus and sat next to her, according to a UCPD crime alert released Thursday.

After boarding, the three suspects sat surrounding the victim. The first suspect, sitting directly beside her, began to touch the victim inappropriately, while another verbally threatened her. The first suspect then took out a can of pepper spray and threatened to use it on the victim if she cried out for help, the alert states.

The harassment continued while the bus traveled east between the 2000 and 2400 blocks of Durant Avenue until a fellow passenger intervened by asking the victim if she was OK. The suspects then threatened the passenger before exiting the bus at about 3:10 p.m., according to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao. The exact location of the suspects' entrance and exit is unknown.

The victim was not injured during the encounter.

The crime alert describes the first suspect as a male in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, weighing 190 pounds and wearing a navy-colored baseball hat, white tank-style undershirt, sunglasses and a gold grill in his mouth at the time of the incident. The second and third suspects are described as being about 17 years old with large builds.

Yao said specific information regarding the bus line, the number of passengers on the bus at the time, possible other victims or the exact nature of the inappropriate contact and verbal threats is not available at this time.

According to AC Transit spokesperson Clarence Johnson, bus operators do not take combat training but are fully prepared to deal with violent situations. Johnson said he was not aware of the incident but that the bus operator would have intervened had he or she been aware of the situation.

"If our drivers notice anything untoward, they notify central dispatch and try to move the bus to a safe place," he said. "We do our part to make sure there are precautions."

According to Yao, UCPD and AC Transit police were not notified by the victim until two days after the incident, on Nov 10. The incident is still under investigation by both UCPD and the AC Transit police.


Contact Kate Lyons at [email protected]

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