Trio of suspected robbers arrested

Three men were arrested early in the day Jan. 31 in connection with an armed robbery near the UC Berkeley campus, police said.

James Heater, 22 of Oakland, Bart Perrin, 22, of San Ramon and Stefon Simpkins, 21 who has no known address, were arrested on armed robbery charges.

The robbery happened about 1:30 a.m. when a 19-year-old man standing at Warring Street and Channing Way was approached by two men.

The men stole the man's backpack, cell phone and wallet before getting into a car driven by one of the men, police said. The victim gave police descriptions of the men and their car. No one was injured.

Police from both Berkeley and UC Berkeley departments searched the area for the car and alerted other police agencies to the robbery. The three were later arrested after they were seen driving on Highway 13 in Oakland.

Teacher pleads guilty to LSD possession

A Berkeley teacher found with LSD after a traffic stop in San Rafael pleaded guilty to a felony charge Feb. 4 in Marin Superior Court.

Douglas Haight, of Berkeley, appearing before Judge James Chou, admitted to possession of LSD as well as a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, said prosecutor Chris Tarbell. The district attorney's office dismissed a charge of bringing LSD into the county jail.


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Under the plea arrangement, the convictions will eventually be dismissed if Haight, 51, remains law-abiding and meets other conditions. He will also avoid a potential three-year prison sentence.

Haight's defense attorney, Derek St. Pierre, said drunken driving, while wrong, is a common offense. "He looks forward to being an ongoing responsible member of the community," St. Pierre said after the hearing.

Haight, until recently an adviser to high school students in Berkeley who are in the independent study program, was arrested Dec. 1 after running a red light in San Rafael. Police said Haight showed signs of intoxication, and he reported that he had just left Terrapin Crossroads, the restaurant and music venue opened by former Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh.

Breath tests taken at the scene showed preliminary blood-alcohol readings of .13 percent and .12 percent, above the .08 percent legal limit for driving, police said.

When police booked him at the county jail, Haight turned in his belongings for storage, including a bottle of breath mint that was in his pants pocket. A jail deputy suspected it might contain drugs, and the liquid tested positive for the hallucinogen LSD, police said.

Haight's employment at Berkeley Unified School District ended after his arrest because the state revoked his teaching credential.

Group will rally to save post office building

Activists seeking to stop the sale of the historic downtown Berkeley Post Office by the U.S. Postal Service are calling on supporters to attend the 6 p.m. Feb. 12 meeting of the City Council's Post Office Subcommittee. The meeting will be in the City Council chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

The Postal Service has announced its intention to sell the building and provide services from leased space.

Benefit dance for Gill Tract activists

The Albany Farm Alliance is holding "Valentine for the Gill Tract," a benefit dance party, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave.

The event is a fundraiser for efforts to keep the Gill Tract, a University of California-owned property in Albany, as agricultural space. The evening will feature a Native American blessing and music by Sauce Piquante, the Starlings and the Funky Nixons.

Details: albanyfarmalliance.com.

Valentine's card crafts this week at Habitot

This is Valentine's Week at Habitot Children's Museum at 2065 Kittredge St., which is offering toddlers space and materials to make their own cards with tissue, lace, ribbons, and glitter in the attraction's art studio from Feb. 7 to 14.

Habitot will also give a free adult admission pass to families that donate a package of art supplies or other craft materials.

Admission is $10 children and $8 adults. For more details visit www.habitot.org.

Waterfront outing will look at King Tides

The Berkeley Path Wanderers and Friends of 5 Creeks are holding a King Tides Walk that starts at 10 a.m. Feb. 9.

The non-strenuous and level walk will take participants along a new extension of the Bay Trail and give them a chance to see the last of the season's "King Tides," when water levels will be at a peak. The outing starts outside the Sea Breeze Deli on the south side of University Avenue just west of Interstate 80. No dogs will be allowed.

-- Gary Klien, Doug Oakley and Chris Treadway