BERKELEY (CBS SF) — A homeless man has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and a hate crime enhancement for alleging attacking an Asian-American man with a rock in downtown Berkeley, prosecutors and police said.
Jeffrey Pachingger, 38, voluntarily came to the Berkeley Police Department after the alleged attack at the bike racks at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street at about 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday and admitted to hitting the victim with a rock because of “an illegal Asian takeover,” Officer Jason Muniz wrote in a probable cause statement.
When he was interviewed after being notified of his rights, Pachingger “admitted to willfully trying to kill the victim because of his ethnicity and his belief of ‘an Asian takeover,” Muniz said.
Police spokesman Officer Byron White said the victim returned to the bike racks at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street and bent over to unlock his bike when a suspect, later identified as Pachingger, struck him from behind in the back of his head with a large rock.
Muniz said the victim felt dizzy and thought he was going to lose consciousness and ran north on Shattuck Avenue because he thought Pachingger would hit him again.
The victim was transported to a hospital to be treated for a head injury, White said.
The violent attack was at least the second by a homeless person in downtown Berkeley in less than a week, as on June 13 a homeless man punched a police officer and gave her a concussion when she tried to help him at the corner of Allston Way and Shattuck Avenue.
Pachingger was being held at the Berkeley jail in lieu of $130,000 bail and ordered to return to court on Friday to possibly enter a plea.