Police Blotter

Friday April 04, 2003

Aquatic Park vandalism 

Vandals destroyed thousands of dollars of natural habitat landscaping and set an outhouse on fire last weekend at the north end of Aquatic Park. 

According to police, a patrol officer responded to a call of smoke at the north end of Aquatic Park early Sunday morning around 3:30. When the officer arrived at the scene, he found a Porta-Sans portable toilet in flames. The officer extinguished the fire, but not before 90 percent of the plastic structure was destroyed.  

The officer noted in his report that all the garbage cans in the area had been turned over. 

Also over the weekend, a vandal or vandals uprooted as many as 40 shrubs, cut down 15 young oak trees and severed a network of drip irrigation lines in the landscaped area, according to police. 

Police said they didn’t know if the two incidents were related. 

Damage to the landscaping occurred on either side of West Boulevard Drive, which separates the Main Lagoon from the Center Pond. 

“This doesn’t seem like the work of a sane person,” said Mark Liolios, of the Aquatic Park Egrets, a volunteer group that maintains the landscaping. “It’s especially upsetting because all of the flowers in the habitat area are in bloom right now.” 

Liolios estimated the damage to the landscaping at more than $2,000. 


Lunch time drug sting near high school  

Responding to complaints of drug sales near East Campus High School, police conducted a surveillance operation that resulted in the arrest of a woman who allegedly sold drugs to a student. 

On April 2, Berkeley’s Special Enforcement Unit and the Drug Task Force arrested Zareta Brandi Jones, 21, of Pinole, for allegedly selling marijuana to a 16-year-old West Campus student.  

A police spokesman said officers arrested Jones after witnessing what appeared to be a lunch-time drug transaction between the student and Jones, who was in a parked Mercury station wagon on the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.  

Jones was arrested and found to be carrying $600 in small bills and 13 grams of crack cocaine hidden in her underwear, according to police. She was booked into Berkeley jail for sales of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine for the purpose of sales, sales to a minor, sales of narcotics within 1,000 feet of a school and felony probation violation.  

The minor was arrested and released for possession of marijuana.