Family Of Deceased Berkeley Man Disputes Police Claims

BERKELEY (KCBS) – The family of a Berkeley Hills man, who was killed by an intruder in February, said they want to set the record straight regarding his death.

Berkeley Police said that murder victim Peter Cukorcalled a non-emergency phone number.

But his son Christopher said on Friday that that’s not true and his father called the emergency number that police recommend, which was programmed into his cellphone.

KCBS’ Susan Kennedy Reports:

“My father was not told that his call was ranked priority two. He asked for an officer up here right away because there was a 6’ 4” intruder who says he lives here, wants to come inside and is acting pretty spacey,” said Cukor. “My father saw a clear threat of an invasion to his home and asked for immediate help.”

Christopher Cukor said that he also takes issue with police when they said that no mistakes were made and that residents should be concerned.

He also thinks that police have to revamp their system for determining priority calls and let callers know how long it will be before police arrive.

The family is also urging Alameda County to adopt Laura’s Law, a state law that allows for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment for people with severe mental illnesses who refuse medication because their illness impairs their ability to make rational decisions.

They said that would have kept the suspect, 23-year-old Daniel Dewitt, in a long-term facility to get help for his paranoid schizophrenia. It has been determined that Dewitt is unfit to stand trial.

The Berkeley Police Department has yet to return KCBS’ calls for comment.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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