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Homeless man arrested for slashing tents in Berkeley

Dennis Culver (BCN)
Friday February 17, 2017 - 10:02:00 AM

Police arrested used less-lethal weapons to subdue a homeless man who was allegedly slashing tents with a sword in Berkeley on Thursday afternoon. 

Manuel A. Ayala, 48, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to police. 

On Thursday at 3:11 p.m., officers with the Berkeley Police Department responded to Gilman Street to a report of a man slashing tents with a sword and brandishing the weapon to individuals inside the tents, police said. 

The suspect, later identified as Ayala, fled the scene as officers were responding. 

Witnesses reported he continued to slash objects with the sword as he walked east on Gilman Street. 

Officers located the suspect on Gilman Street between Fifth and Sixth streets and saw him threatening another man with the sword, police said. 

Officers observed Ayala with the sword raised near the intended victim, and officers fired multiple rounds from a less-than-lethal launcher and were able to get the suspect to drop his sword, police said. 

Ayala was taken into custody without further incident. 

Police said Ayala had assaulted a woman at the tents with the sword, and the second victim was an associate of the woman. 

During the assault, the woman was struck with part of the sword, but she declined medical attention.