Oakland has, for whatever virtues it may lay claim to, a well-deserved reputation as a violent, crime-ridden urban area. Of course, most of the crime-ridden areas of Oakland are readily identifiable. Most of the city is as safe as any other place you could name, especially as you go uphill. But, living in the tony Oakland Hills is not a protective shield, as one unfortunate resident learned over the weekend:
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.
Cukor had found Dewitt lurking around his garage, and called the police. It was when Cukor went back outside that Dewitt beat him to death. And, what were the police doing that was so important that they could not respond to Cukor? Why, escorting an Occupy Oakland march, of course.
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 call
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.
Evil right-wingers have drawn the obvious conclusion, pointing out that the Occupiers' repeated insistence on marching to and fro, with spontaneous bouts of street fighting mixed in, have caused East Bay police departments to divert police resources away from run-of-the-mill criminals in favor of the lawless faux-revolutionaries of the Occupy Movement. This has inevitably given rise to some defensive reactions by Occupiers and their allies who say the usual crap about how their protests are "mostly" peaceful, that the violence is by a relative handful of agitators (who use the "peaceful" protesters as willing human shields), and that, at some indeterminate time in the past, the Oakland Police Department "started it." Wah! Wah! Hey, you guys, I'm not saying the police are perfect, but you've shown yourselves of in need of babysitting every time more than 3 of you get together for any purpose. That's diverting police resources, and it's your fault.
The Occupiers have long overstayed their welcome. It's too bad there still seems to be little will to do anything with them besides babysitting.