Police ID suspect in crime spree, pursuit from Oakland to Berkeley

OAKLAND (BCN) — An armed suspect who is accused of deliberately striking at least six vehicles, including two police patrol cars, in a crime rampage in Oakland and Berkeley on Wednesday was identified by police as 37-year-old Darrell Clarence Blackmon of Berkeley.

Oakland police said the incident started in East Oakland at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and ended at 9:22 a.m. when Blackmon was arrested in the area of Delaware Street and McGee Avenue in Berkeley.

Police said they received information that a man in a black, four-door Mitsubishi sedan was driving in an erratic manner. A short time later, officers received a report that a similar car had intentionally struck another vehicle near East 23rd Street and Coolidge Avenue.

Oakland police patrol cars were dispatched to the area but while they were driving to the scene, the suspect, later identified as Blackmon, allegedly deliberately struck two patrol cars. No officers were injured, police said.

The suspect continued to hit multiple uninvolved civilian vehicles at different locations as he fled. A woman was injured in one of the collisions, which occurred at 39th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, but her injuries weren’t serious, according to police.

Officers asked for and received support from a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew and coordinated a citywide and multi-agency search for Blackmon, police said.

Police received a report that Blackmon was pointing a firearm at citizens in West Oakland and at about 8:45 a.m. spotted his car near 14th and Filbert streets, where officers initiated a vehicle pursuit. However, officers decided to call off the pursuit because of the potential danger to the public, according to police.

With the help of the CHP and surrounding law enforcement agencies, police eventually located Blackmon’s vehicle again in the area of the 1700 block of Hearst Avenue in Berkeley at 9:22 a.m. and arrested him several minutes later, police said.

However, the gun that Blackmon allegedly was brandishing hasn’t been recovered, police said.

Authorities initially said it appeared that Blackmon collided with six vehicles but they said that additional victims are still coming forward and the total number of impacted vehicles is being updated.

Blackmon is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $281,305 bail and tentatively is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.

He is being held on suspicion of multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a police officer, brandishing a weapon, hit-and-run, evading police and vandalism.

Court records indicate that Blackmon has prior convictions for brandishing a weapon and vandalism.

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