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Cal Bears Linebacker Arrested After Allegedly Attacking Berkeley Police Officer

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- A recently suspended Cal Bears football player was arrested over the weekend by Berkeley police after he allegedly attacked an officer early Sunday morning, according to authorities.

Berkeley police said that at around 1 a.m. on Sunday, December 8, an officer driving southbound on Gayley Road near University Drive on the UC campus was flagged down by a man walking near the center median.

Arrested Cal Bears linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo
Arrested Cal Bears linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo (Berkeley Police Dept.)

The officer stopped for the man, who approached the driver's side window and started a conversation with the officer. During the conversation, the man asked the officer about his handgun and if he could drive the police vehicle.

When the officer said the man could not drive the vehicle and directed him to step away from the patrol car, the man forcibly opened the driver's side door. The officer thought the man was trying to take the patrol car by force and stepped out of the vehicle and ordered the man to sit on the ground as he called for back up.

The man then stood up and grabbed at the officer. While the officer tried to push the man away, he continued to grab at the policeman. When the officers issued a second emergency call for back up and tried to cuff the man, the attacker tried to grab the officer's holstered handgun.

The officer's body-worn camera fell off his uniform to the ground during the struggle, with the attacker picking up the camera and putting it in his pocket.

The assailant continued his attack, demanding that the officer give him the handgun while elbowing the officer in the head. The man was then able to get into the driver's seat of the patrol vehicle that was equipped with a shotgun.

Luckily, the officer was able to get the man out of the patrol car and eventually restrained him with the assistance of other arriving officers.

The suspect was identified as 19-year-old Cal Bears linebacker Joseph Adeyem Wisdom Ogunbanjo. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of carjacking, threatening violence on a police officer, attempting to remove an officer's weapon and battery on a police officer.

Cal Athletics issued a statement late Monday afternoon regarding the case.

"We are aware of an incident involving Joseph Ogunbanjo, and the details as described by the Berkeley Police Department are troubling," the statement read. "While he is no longer a member of our football program, we remain concerned for his well-being."

Ogunbanjo was listed on the team roster on the Cal Bears website as of earlier Monday, but his player page had been removed as of Monday evening. Ogunbanjo was reportedly suspended indefinitely from the team in October, but the circumstances of his suspension have not been revealed.


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