Man dies after struggle downtown with police

The Alameda County coroner is investigating after a 41-year-old man died while being taken into police custody for an involuntary psychiatric hold Feb. 12, officials said.

Police said they responded to a call just before midnight about a person who may have been having mental health issues at an apartment building in the 2100 block of Allston Way.

When police attempted to talk to the man, he became "agitated and uncooperative to the officer's verbal commands and began to scream and violently resist," according to a statement from Berkeley police.

A struggle ensued, police said, and they were able to place the man in restraints, but he continued to kick and scream. After being loaded onto an ambulance gurney, police said they noticed he was not breathing, and they began CPR. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, police said.

Police did not identify the man, and Sgt. Patricia Wilson of the coroner's office said the Berkeley Police Department has a hold on the case. Police said the death will be investigated internally and they will notify the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. Wilson said investigations into deaths that occur in police custody are handled like any other "unnatural" death and do not include special protocols.


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Speaking in general about coroner's investigations, she said the department can perform autopsies, interview witnesses, take photographs, review police reports and review the person's previous medical records. Wilson said some reports can take up to a year to complete.

Purim Carnival at JCC from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday

The Jewish Community Center East Bay at 1414 Walnut St. is hosting a free Purim Carnival from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will be sold for activities and games. The day will include a costume parade, mask-making, carnival games and other activities.

"Admission is an act of tzedakah, please bring canned food to donate," organizers say.

St. Mary's High School to host winter concert

A final winter concert will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at Saint Mary's College High School, 1294 Albina Ave.

The program, in the school auditorium, will feature Saint Mary's orchestra, intermediate band, and advanced symphonic band.

Get information at city's Passport Day

Albany is observing "Passport Day In The USA 2013" with a free event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9 at City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Ave.

The city's Passport Office will have information on applying for passports and will be accepting applications, an opportunity not normally available on a Saturday. Regular passport office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m. to noon Fridays. Service is on a walk-in basis, no appointment necessary.

Information on passport costs and how to apply is available at www.travel.state.gov and on the city's information hotline at 510-528-5720.

Berkeley High calls on service organizations

Berkeley High School is seeking service organizations to be partners for its Month of Service in March and to attend its Service Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 8 at the school.

Groups would be able to advertise service opportunities that would be included on a list being compiled for the estimated 2,000 students who will be participating.

For more details contact BHS Student Activity Director John Villavicencio at johnvillavicencio@berkeley.net.

-- Chris Treadway and Doug Oakley