Homeless Man Jailed for Assaulting another Homeless Man with a Guitar
Photo: Matthew Harris
BERKELEY — A homeless man with 31 prior arrests is behind bars again—this time for assaulting another homeless man with a guitar. The victim was sleeping downtown when he was attacked.
The victim was repeatedly struck in the face with his own guitar, and he was kicked and punched by the suspect. He was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries.
The attacker also allegedly made homophobic remarks directed at the victim. This violent and apparently unprovoked attack occurred July 8 at 9:44 p.m.
Although the suspect fled from the area, witnesses provided a description of the suspect to police. Witnesses also knew the suspect’s nickname.
Bicycle patrol officers recognized the description of the suspect. The suspect Matthew Harris, a 31-year-old transient who lives in Berkeley, was located the following morning.
Harris was arrested July 9 at 10:47 a.m., near People’s Park at Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail, where he remains in custody in lieu of $190,000 bond.
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for August 3. Harris is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury. He is also charged with making criminal threats, and a misdemeanor for violation of civil rights.
In addition to burglaries and thefts, Harris has numerous arrests involving possession of controlled substances. For his relatively few convictions, Harris has been sentenced to probation and jail time.