A Berkeley man with a history of arrests for fighting, trespassing and sleeping in parks held police at bay with a pit bull dog in a doorway for more than an hour Monday afternoon until two police negotiators talked him into giving up peacefully, police said.
Police arrested 37-year-old Austin White on charges of trespassing, threatening a police officer and illegal lodging in a public place, said police spokeswoman Jenn Coats.
"Officers didn't want to hurt the animal, so we had two negotiators on duty who were able to speak to him and take him into custody peacefully," Coats said.
Coats said police responded to a call of White spray painting BART property in the 2100 Shattuck Avenue Monday afternoon. When police saw him walking in the area a short time later they attempted to arrest him, but he fled and backed into a doorway and used his pit bull to keep officers away.
Coats said White has been "problematic" in downtown Berkeley and at People's Park for at least a year.
"He's been the subject of multiple calls for service with us," Coats said. "This week it's been trespassing and disturbing the peace. In the past it's also been trespassing fights and vandalism."
Doug Oakley covers Berkeley. Contact him at 510-843-1408. Follow him at Twitter.com/douglasoakley.