BERKELEY – Officers arrested a man who police said tried to strangle a psychologist who was waiting inside a car at a supermarket parking lot on Sunday night; stole the car, crashed a short distance away, and then attempted to run away.
The victim struggled with her attacker and escaped from the car, despite feeling like she might lose consciousness. Her attacker tried to drive away, but several police cars arrived at the scene and caught him.
The suspect, Eric R. Bruylant, 24, was arrested at gunpoint after a brief foot chase onApril 23 at 10:17 p.m., close to Whole Foods supermarket at 1025 Gilman Street, where the attack happened.
The victim is a woman who works with the Berkeley Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team. She and police officers were dispatched when the suspect apparently threatened to harm himself at Farm Burger restaurant located nearby, at 1313 Ninth Street.
Bruylant is charged with attempted murder, first degree robbery, carjacking, receiving stolen property, and obstructing a police officer. He was booked at Berkeley Jail, ineligible for bail.
Police said the attacker told officers that he was trying to kill the woman, wanted to take her vehicle, and admitted to stealing her phone.
The suspect was identified by the victim and a witness.