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Berkeley police seek help to ID man who allegedly tried to kidnap woman

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Police are seeking help to identify a man suspected of trying to kidnap a woman in Berkeley, Calif., on Jan. 24, 2023, at 5:03 p.m.

Police are seeking help to identify a man suspected of trying to kidnap a woman in Berkeley, Calif., on Jan. 24, 2023, at 5:03 p.m.

Berkeley Police Department

The Berkeley Police Department shared a video Wednesday showing a man suspected of attempting to kidnap a woman near the UC Berkeley campus on Tuesday evening. 

Officer Byron White told SFGATE that he’s hoping the footage will help the department locate the suspect.

White said the video shows the suspect after he allegedly attempted to kidnap and sexually assault a woman, who is estimated to be in her 20s, in Berkeley’s Northside neighborhood at about 5 p.m. on Jan. 24.

The woman had left campus and crossed Hearst Avenue and was standing on the north side of Hearst next to the multi-level Lower Hearst parking structure when the man approached her, officials said.

“He ends up blocking her, he grabs her arm and threatens to sexually assault her,” White told SFGATE on the phone. 

She was able to break free and ran to the Northside Cafe, where staff reportedly saw the man following her. The cafe staff blocked the man, while she hid in the bathroom, White said. 

The man fled before police arrived. “The video shows him walking back to campus,” White said.

White said other video footage obtained by police and not being shared with the public shows him attempting to kidnap the woman. 

“It’s very traumatic and messed up that this happened, but we’re thankful that there was a place relatively close to her where she could find safety,” White said. “We’re hoping if anyone sees this video, maybe they will recognize this guy.”

UC Berkeley has a BearWalk Escort service where students can book a free walking escort by calling 510-642-9255 (WALK). Get more information on UC Berkeley’s safety program online. 

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