Homeless Man Dies in Hospital Over a Month After Alleged Assault

Anybody with information about the incidents can call the Berkeley Homicide Detail at 981-5741.

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A homeless man died Friday after he was allegedly assaulted and robbed a month earlier on Southside.

Dwight Leeray, 54, was pronounced dead at 2:05 p.m. after being hospitalized at Alta Bates Hospital for over a month, said Damon Wilson, an investigator with the Alameda County Coroner's Office. He was being treated for injuries inflicted during the alleged robbery.

Wilson said an autopsy was performed over the weekend, but the results are being withheld.

Leeray was sitting on a bench on Telegraph Avenue near Webster Street on Feb. 24 at approximately 1:25 a.m. when two men confronted him, said Berkeley police Lt. Cynthia Harris.

One of the men grabbed Leeray around the neck from behind, while the other man went through the victim's pockets, Harris said.

The ensuing trauma aggravated a rare medical condition, which did not allow Leeray to straighten out his neck, Harris said.

"The suspects probably didn't know that," Harris said.

The men made off with about $2, Harris said.

Michael Porter, 32, of Berkeley, and Bryant Davis, 26, of Oakland, were arrested within minutes of the robbery report, Harris said. She said a witness positively identified the two men.

The two are being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Leeray was released from Alta Bates five hours after the alleged robbery, but he returned two hours later after collapsing at the Ashby BART station.

This past week, police also arrested two men in connection to the stabbing and robbery of a homeless man in West Berkeley. Police arrested Jose Santos Ramos, 41, and Raoul Gonzeles, 33, under suspicion of the robbery-assault.

The unidentified man was sleeping in an encampment near Hearst Avenue and the railroad tracks shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday, when he woke up to find a man holding a knife against his throat, Harris said.

Harris said another man went through the victim's pockets and took $2. Afterward, the victim was stabbed in the stomach, she said.

The victim managed to get himself to 5th Street and University Avenue, where he called police, Harris said.

The man required surgery but is expected to recover, Harris said.


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