Man charged in Berkeley stabbing

A 22-year-old unemployed ex-con who was recently convicted of felony assault has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing another man at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park near Berkeley City Hall on Sunday evening.

Kendall Joe Yazzie, of Berkeley, who is being held without bail, was arraigned on the attempted murder charge on Tuesday and is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 10 to enter a plea.

Berkeley police Officer Aaron Gasper wrote in a probable cause statement that officers who responded to reports of a stabbing at the park at 2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way at about 6:50 p.m. Sunday found the victim nearby close to the back steps of City Hall at 2180 Milvia St.

The victim had multiple stab wounds to his chest, a laceration on his right arm and one stab wound on his face, according to Gasper.

Witnesses flagged down officers and directed them toward Yazzie, who they found nearby at Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Gasper wrote.

Two witnesses identified Yazzie as the person who attacked and stabbed the victim, Gasper wrote.

Officers later found the knife that Yazzie allegedly used on the roof of a building on the southeast corner of the park’s parking lot. Investigators believe he threw it there, according to Gasper.

Prosecutors allege that Yazzie was on felony probation at the time of the stabbing because he was convicted of felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury only two months earlier, on May 31.

At a hearing on June 26, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Yolanda Northridge elected not to sentence Yazzie to state prison, even though he had multiple prior convictions for misdemeanor offenses, and instead placed him on three years’ probation.