Car Jacking, Woman Hit over Head With Hammer, Man Beaten by Crowd Precede Murder
By Doug Oakley
Berkeley police have identified the victim of a Sunday morning murder and robbery that capped a week of violence on city streets.
Ignacio Celedon, 35, was shot dead at Adeline and Emerson streets at about 3:40 a.m. Sunday as he was walking home from a party with his fiancé, police said.
No arrests have been made, but police say two men who assaulted the couple and shot Celedon got into an older two tone SUV and drove west on Ashby Avenue.
Celedon's fiancé was punched during the crime, police said.
The murder capped a week of violence in Berkeley.
On Friday just after noon in the 2200 block of Fifth Street, a man walked up to a woman from behind, hit her over the head with a hammer and snatched her purse. He then fled in a waiting SUV. The woman was hospitalized with head and finger injuries, police said. No arrests were made.
Also on Friday morning, an 18-year-old Berkeley man with a criminal history was arrested and booked into the Berkeley jail on one count of felony car jacking and one count of attempted car jacking.
Police say Tyrice Bender was arrested at about 11 a.m. in the U.C. Botanical Garden. UC Berkeley police spotted the victim's car there, searched the area and found him sitting in the garden.
Berkeley police Sgt. Mike Dougherty said Bender allegedly approached a woman in her car in the Andronico's parking lot on University Avenue ad tried to pull her out of her car. She resisted and locked herself inside the car.
Undeterred, Bender allegedly approached a man sitting in a 1991 Mazda 626 at 1550 University Avenue, started punching him in the face and "yanked him out of the car," Dougherty said.
He left with the car and the male victim suffered minor facial injuries. Both victims identified Bender as the suspect, Dougherty said.
And on Sept. 8, a 63-year-old man standing on the corner of Haste Street and Telegraph Avenue near People's Park was surrounded by a group of young men in their 20s who started kicking and punching him. They took his backpack and fled. The man was hospitalized with injuries to his face, head and body.
The victim could not provide details about the attack "due to the severity of his injuries," according to a UC Berkeley Police department statement.