A driver in a stolen truck evaded capture Tuesday night after ramming the patrol car of a Berkeley police officer who tried to stop him, authorities report.
The officer was not injured but the incident was classified as an assault with a deadly weapon, which led to a police pursuit into West Oakland, the Berkeley Police Department said in response to a Berkeley Scanner inquiry.
Police ultimately called off the pursuit in Oakland after the driver repeatedly used the wrong-way lanes to flee and accelerated to speeds of 70 mph on city streets, Berkeley police said.
The incident began shortly before 11 p.m. near Ledgers Liquor at 1399 University Ave. (at Acton Street).
A Berkeley police sergeant on patrol spotted the stolen truck and noticed what appeared to be someone trying to jump start it, police said.
As the sergeant called for backup, the driver pulled into the Ledgers parking lot, police said.
When the sergeant turned on his emergency lights to make a stop, the driver rammed the officer by backing the stolen truck into his patrol car, the Berkeley Police Department said.
Officers then followed the driver, who had a female passenger beside him, up Curtis Street and over to San Pablo Avenue, where the driver headed south in the northbound lanes, BPD said.
The driver crossed into Oakland around 11 p.m. and eventually increased his speed to 70 mph while using the wrong-way lanes of Mandela Parkway to flee, police said.
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Berkeley police called off the pursuit in the interest of safety shortly after 11:05 p.m.
The truck was described as a white 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup that had been stolen from Richmond, police said.
Tuesday was a busy day for police in Berkeley who, earlier in the afternoon, tried to catch a pair of armed robbers linked to two robberies and several auto burglaries near the UC Berkeley campus.
Police chased the pair into Contra Costa County and spent hours searching for them in San Pablo, but were unable to find them. Police said the investigation had resulted in some "good leads."
Just before 8:30 p.m., a group of robbers with a gun took a man's cellphone and then pistol-whipped him in South Berkeley.
The investigations are ongoing.