Former Berkeley police chief dies at age 82

Ronald D. Nelson, who was Berkeley police chief for eight years, died Monday at age 82 after a brief illness, city officials said.

Nelson reportedly died after an afternoon walk with friends March 10 in Tilden Park, authorities said.

He served as chief from 1982 to 1990, managing a 300-person department. He was replaced by Dashiel Butler when he went to work for the UC San Francisco Police Department.

Nelson received his early training and experience with the Los Angeles Police Department, which he joined in 1956 as a police officer, later advancing to sergeant and then lieutenant.

Nelson was later a police commander with the Compton Police Department, and also served as city manager and assistant city manager of Compton.

Nelson earned a bachelor's degree from Drake University, a master's degree from Pepperdine and did additional academic work in sociology and public administration at California State University at Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount, Fort McClennan, California Institute of Technology, and California Polytechnic University. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Stabbing victim walks into UCPD office

A 60-year-old man walked into the University of California at Berkeley Police Department's headquarters March 4 after being stabbed nearby, campus police said.


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The victim came into the police lobby at 1 Sproul Hall at about 5:15 a.m. and had suffered multiple stab wounds to his left arm, according to police.

The man's injuries were not considered life-threatening.

He was apparently stabbed in front of a clothing store in the 2500 block of Bancroft Way on city property so Berkeley police, rather than UC police, are investigating the case.

The suspect in the stabbing remains at large. He was described as a white man between 20 and 30 years old who is between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall with a thin build and brown hair. He wore layered clothing, possibly a brown jacket and jeans, police said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Berkeley police at 510-981-5900.

Police offer $15,000 reward in Berkeley homicide

Berkeley police announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect in last week's death of a man inside his apartment.

The victim has been identified as 54-year-old Berkeley resident Sylvan Fuselier, who was found inside his residence Feb. 28 in the 1100 block of Addison Street during a welfare check by police.

Fuselier's death is Berkeley's first homicide of 2014, according to Officer Jennifer Coats, a Berkeley police spokeswoman.

Police have declined to disclose any circumstances around Fuselier's death, but said that it does not appear to be a random act. An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Berkeley Police Department's Homicide Division at 510-981-5741 or 510- 981-5900. Callers who want to remain anonymous can also call the Bay Area Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Persian Festival welcomes spring

Dance in the street and jump over the fire at Chahar-Shanbeh Souri, the Persian New Year Festival, from 6 to 10 p.m. March 18 at the Persian Center, 2029 Durant Ave.

The free rain-or-shine event, a celebration dating to ancient times to shed "the darkness of winter and welcome the lightness of spring," will feature Persian techno music spun by DJ Dr. "Inside the Persian Center, a traditional altar holds green grass, live goldfish, food and other items representative of spring called the "haftseen" or seven 's's as each item on the table begins with the letter 's'. Persian music, food, and craft vendors, cultural organizations, and children's activities add to the nighttime experience."

For more details call 510-848-0264 or visit www.anotherbullwinkelshow.com/persian-fest/.

Panel discussion on downtown development

"Where Does Berkeley Downtown Development Intersect with Berkeley History?" is the topic of a panel discussion from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 18 at the Berkeley History Center, 1931 Center St.

Panelists Michael Caplan (Berkeley economic development manager), Planning Commission member Jim Novosel, Berkeley Daily Planet executive editor Becky O'Malley, and Rent Stabilization Board Chairwoman Lisa Stephens will discuss "how development activities may potentially impact the cultural and physical characteristics of the downtown area."

Steven Finacom is the panel moderator and Sherry Smith will moderate the Q&A that follows.

Admission to the event, co-hosted by Berkeley Historical Society and the League of Women Voters Berkeley Albany Emeryville, is free, with donations welcome.

For details and updates visit www.berkeleyhistoricalsociety.org.

-- Kristin J. Bender and Chris Treadway