Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Burglary Suspect Routed from House after 3-Hour Standoff with Police

By Doug Oakley
Staff Writer
Bay Area News Group East Bay
A burglary suspect armed with a machete and a saw who holed up in an unoccupied Berkeley home was arrested and taken for a psychiatric evaluation after a 3 1/2 hour standoff with Berkeley police officers and a SWAT team.
The standoff ended with no shots fired after the man came out of the house on his own where police arrested him after a brief scuffle. The suspect received only minor injuries.
Kamal Abdul Khalid, 65, came out of the Parker Street home with the machete in his hand about 10:20 a.m. after the SWAT team was seen running into the house.
After dropping the machete, Khalid put up a fight before being arrested and suffered minor injuries, Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.
A Berkeley police officer takes up position with a rifle outside a Parker Street home Wednesday where a burglary suspect was hiding in an unoccupied home. (Photo by Doug Oakley)

Kamal Khalid, 65, is loaded into an ambulance on Parker Street in Berkeley after holding off police and a SWAT team with a machete for three hours on May 18. (Photo by Doug Oakley)

Berkeley police and a SWAT team member rush up to a home to arrest a burglary suspect who was holed up in a home with a machete on May 18. (Photo by Doug Oakley)

Berkeley SWAT team members rush a house where a burglary suspect was holed up with a machete on May 18. (Photo by Doug Oakley)

The story unfolded about 7 a.m. when Shedrick Gandy confronted the burglary suspect in his basement in the 1300 block of Parker Street, Gandy and Kusmiss said.
"He was trying to take a bike, and I said, 'Uh-uh, you can't take that,' so he grabbed the machete and the saw, and I followed him out with the baseball bat," Gandy said.
Ronnie Jackson was just coming back from his daily breakfast at McDonalds on San Pablo Avenue when he saw Gandy and the suspect squared off in the middle of the street, one man with a baseball bat, the other with a machete and the saw.
"Then the cat with the saw started taking off his clothes and for some reason he had on two pair of pants," Jackson said. "Then he ran across the street and beat his way into the house with the machete."
Kusmiss said that when police arrived on the scene and ordered Khalid to put down the weapons, he instead ran to a home across the street from the one he broke into, smashed the window out of the front door with his machete and dove through the broken glass.
About three hours later when the SWAT team took Khalid into custody, they saw what appeared to be blood all over the home. Police at first thought it was the suspect's blood, but it turned out to be blood from some steaks and juice from strawberries that the suspect may have removed from the refrigerator.
At the scene there were about 15 SWAT team members, several detectives, other sharp shooters with rifles, and a fire truck and ambulance standing by.
"I'm really happy the way the Berkeley police handled this," Gandy said. "They were very patient with the guy, because he needs help."
Doug Oakley covers Berkeley. Contact him at 510-843-1408. Follow him at

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