Occupy claims another life.
(SFGate) — Residents of the tranquil Berkeley hills were in shock Sunday after police described a horrific slaying, with a homeowner beaten after confronting a young man – an apparent stranger – who had trespassed onto his property.
Authorities did not identify the victim, but neighbors and public records indicated that the owner of the home where the Saturday night killing occurred was Peter Cukor, 67, who owned a logistics consulting firm. His family declined to talk.
Shortly after the attack outside the large home near Tilden Park, a Berkeley police officer found Daniel Jordan Dewitt, 23, of Alameda, less than a block away. Dewitt was booked on suspicion of murder, and was being held Sunday without bail.
Dewitt suffers from mental illness, said his mother, Candy Dewitt.
The victim had called police on a nonemergency line after first seeing Dewitt, according to sources familiar with the case. But police were busy monitoring an Occupy Oakland march to UC Berkeley, and officers were dispatched only to high-priority calls.
An officer who noticed the call about Dewitt on his computer told a dispatcher he would respond, but was told not to go, sources said.
Minutes later, the victim’s wife heard her husband yelling for help and called 911 after seeing the suspect dragging him into bushes and hitting him with a potted plant, sources said.