Later in the day, a transient was arrested for allegedly stealing a watch from Target, boosting the day's total arrests to six, an unusually high number for Albany.
If you saw several Albany police cars hurrying along streets near the school late in the morning, it was because four of those arrested were caught only after fleeing, police said.
Report of drug use or sales
In the first incident, police received a report at 10:45 a.m. of juveniles on the BART path selling or using drugs, according to Police Sgt. Tom Dolter.
A responding officer attempted to contact four subjects at the scene, and two ran away, Dolter said.
One of them, a 16-year-old from Albany, was captured by an officer who chased him on foot, Dolter said.
The other one, a 18-year-old from El Cerrito, was found hiding in a stairwell at 401 Evelyn Ave., Dolter said.
The two who fled were arrested on suspicion of resisting a police officer, he said.
No drugs were found, and the two who didn't run were not arrested, Dolter said.
Fight, suspect tries to stop woman from calling police
At 11:24 a.m., police received a report of several juveniles fighting on the BART path next to the Middle School, Dolter said.
When police arrived, two of the suspects fled. One of them, a 17-year-old from Albany, was arrested after running into adjoining El Cerrito Plaza, Dolter said. He was arrested on suspicion of resisting an officer.
The second one, an 18-year-old from Albany, was found hiding in bushes at the Cornell Avenue entrance into the Plaza, Dolter said. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, Dolter said.
Another person at the scene, a 19-year-old from Albany, was arrested after being questioned by police because he had a $5,000 outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on a public intoxication charge, Dolter said.
Police are also seeking another teen at the scene who scuffled with two women in an attempt to grab the cell phone of one of the women who was trying to summon police at the time of the fight, Dolter said.
A 45-year-old woman from Richmond who witnessed the fight told the teens that she would call police if they didn't stop, Dolter said. They didn't stop, and when she tried to call, one of those present tried to grab her phone. Another woman, aged 80, intervened and was pushed during the ensuing scuffle, Dolter said.
The Richmond woman managed to hold onto the phone and summon police, and the youth who tried to take it away is now being sought by police on possible charges of attempted robbery and interfering with someone attempting to summon aid, Dolter said.
The suspect is described as a black male juvenile of high school age, about 5-feet, 4-inches tall, with a thin build and close-cut hair, Dolter said.
Neither of the two women suffered injuries, Dolter said.
A source with knowledge of the incident told Patch that a third woman – who is 48, was in a wheelchair and was accompanying the 80-year-old woman – also intervened to stop the suspect from taking the phone and also was pushed in the scuffle.
Arrest in theft of watch at Target
At 5:18 p.m., police arrested a 39-year-old male transient at a homeless encampment near the railroad tracks and Target on suspicion of stealing a watch from Target, Dolter said.
The suspect, who was recorded on video taking the watch Friday, managed to leave the store and was not caught at the time, Dolter said. However, he returned briefly to the store, where a security guard recognized him and directed police to the area where he went after leaving the second time, Dolter said.
Posted Oct. 26, 2013, 6:36 p.m.; updated Oct. 28, 12:33 a.m.
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