Berkeley PD display Ayala’s sword
BERKELEY – A homeless man is in jail for allegedly assaulting a woman, brandishing a sword at several people, and slashing tents at a homeless encampment located in an industrial area near the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.
Manuel A. Ayala, 48, was arrested February 16 at 3:34 p.m., charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Ayala’s being held for $60,000 bond at Santa Rita Jail.
Police said they fired multiple rounds from a non-lethal weapon to stop the suspect who was holding a raised sword—from advancing towards a potential victim. The suspect dropped the sword and he was promptly arrested.
Several tents belonging to homeless people were slashed before police arrived on Gilman Street west of the railroad tracks and after the suspect had fled.
Witnesses later reported seeing the suspect slashing at objects while walking eastbound on Gilman Street, before police confronted him between Fifth and Sixth streets.
A woman whom police said had been struck by part of the sword was not seriously injured and she declined an offer to receive medical attention.
The non-lethal weapon that police used to subdue the suspect—a less-than-lethal-launcher—fires plastic coated sponges up to 100 yards that can cause pain but does not penetrate the skin.