Driver with loaded gun ran stop sign near Berkeley school, arrested

Police say a man who ran a stop sign near Malcolm X Elementary School – with a loaded gun in his car, along with a small child – was arrested outside the school on Wednesday morning, the reports report. authorities. 1 credit

Berkeley police this week arrested a man who put up a stop sign while dropping off a child at Malcolm X Elementary on suspicion of having a loaded handgun and an illegal high-capacity magazine in the car, authorities report.

Berkeley traffic officers were conducting a grant-funded distracted driving operation on Ashby Avenue when they saw the man running the stop sign, BPD said in a prepared statement. He had a young child in the car with him, BPD said in response to an inquiry from Berkeleyside. When the man arrived at Malcolm X, the child got out of the vehicle and went to school.

BPD arrested the driver, identified as Breon Bolton, 28, of Berkeley, in front of Malcolm X at Prince and Ellis streets around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. A search of Bolton’s vehicle revealed the loaded weapon inside a backpack in the backseat area, BPD said. The high-capacity magazine, which holds ammunition for the weapon, was also in the backpack, according to police.

BPD said Bolton was driving with a suspended license and his registration had expired.

Police found a loaded handgun during a traffic stop this week. Credit: BPD

Bolton was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm near campus, carrying a loaded firearm, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, possessing a high capacity magazine and driving with a suspended licence. BPD said Bolton was also arrested on an allegation of identity theft in connection with certain credit cards found in the vehicle.

Bolton was cited and released, BPD said. As a result, his next court date was not available in public records.

The Berkeley Unified School District did not release a statement on the incident.

During the distracted driving operation, which ran from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, the BPD arrested 29 motorists and issued citations to 17 of them for inappropriate use of mobile phones while driving.

The operation was financed by the National Road Safety Office. The BPD said officers chose Ashby Avenue as the center of interest “because it was identified as one of the corridors with the highest number of accidents”.

Four of Berkeley’s traffic deaths in 2021 – all pedestrians – occurred on or near Ashby Avenue, which is a National roadBPD said in an analysis of traffic collisions in February.

In June, Chuck Feezel was fatally injured in a hit-and-run accident by the Telegraph Avenue Whole Foods between Ashby and Webster Street. Police are still trying to identify the driver and have offered a $50,000 reward.

In July, Latitia Austin Ahmad suffered fatal injuries when a DoorDash driver hit her on Ashby Avenue, west of Shattuck Avenue. Legal action against DoorDash is ongoing.

In September, Jeffrey Lindsey was found dead in Ashby’s median near Adeline Street after an apparent hit-and-run accident. Police are still looking for the driver of this incident.

In November, Angel Barrera of Richmond was killed on Ashby near Interstate 80 when a driver hit him. At the time of the last report, the driver had not been identified.

In the traffic collision report, police also listed the Berkeley intersections with the most collisions. Three Ashby Avenue intersections topped the list: at San Pablo Avenue (14 collisions), Shattuck Avenue (12 collisions) and Martin Luther King Jr. Way (nine collisions).

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