Hacking Berkeley’s People’s Park

strong>by Steed Dropout
Dec. 18, 2012
Berkeley, Ca



According to an eyewitness, a machete-wielding man lashed out, Saturday, at three street kids and their dogs in People’s Park.

Machete-man grazed his victims with the dull side of his weapon before four cops, guns aimed at him, arrived.

In the ensuing melee, the attacker and several People’s Park regulars were arrested.


As a key arrest from the melee in People’s Park returned to Telegraph Avenue, Monday, and additional witnesses came forward, I am able to re-construct the hacking episode.

Machete Man pulled his three-foot long hacker from beneath a blanket to, possibly, defend himself as several park regulars descended on him (“he was back-stepping away from them,”) according to one witness.

He flailed out at them, drawing blood from one of his persecutors.

Machete-Man drew attention with several dogs on a rope attached to a fishing pole. Three dog-care moralists from the avenue lost no time hassling him for dog-mis-treatment.

Call it dog vigilantism. Call it mob justice. Call it mad.

Eventually, eight cops joined the fracas, four with guns aimed at the perps. the cops considered them all perps. Four were arrested, including Machete-Man.

“Uncle Al,” yelling, “I fought for this park in ’69…who do you think you are, bringing a machete into People’s Park?” bounded across the park to join the fray. Al is a familiar park presence, who, reportedly, injects himself into most park brouhaha’s.

Al managed to punch Machete in the neck before he (Al) was busted for assault.

“I’m a hero,” he told me; “not a crook. I saved lives.” There were, reportedly, up to twenty-five park-users nearby.

Machete’s old lady gave his dogs away after he was busted, according to another witness.

Someone else saw Machete, Monday night (after his release earlier) brandish yet another machete in front of Fred’s Market, Telegraph/Dwight, then drive off in his car.


In 1971, Berkeley was abuzz over a psycho machete hacker who (fatally) sliced-and-diced two Berkeleyans with his machete, and one night I barely beat him back to my car before he came after me on lower Hearst. I never forgot that avoided crime. I might have really hurt that guy.

After at least one death and several woundings, the machete attacks stopped and the Berkeley hacker was never apprehended. He’s probably hacking computers with a machete.

Read my whole “hacker” story for the Berkeley Daily Planet, 2011.

These views do not reflect those of publications in which my work appears.

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