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Former Alameda Civic Leader's Grandson Arrested in Berkeley Slaying

Daniel Jordan Dewitt, 23, was a 2007 graduate of Alameda High.

 

A man arrested in connection with a Berkeley slaying Saturday night is the grandson of former Alameda city councilman and civic leader Al DeWitt.

Daniel Dewitt, a 2007 Alameda High School graduate, was arrested in a Berkeley hills neighborhood Saturday night after police responded to a report of a suspicious person near a family's garage. 

A woman called the police to report a prowler near Shasta Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard. The man went out to confront him and was assaulted, police said.

The man was treated at the scene and transported to a local trauma center. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Berkeley police have not released the victim's identity, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported that according to property records and neighbors, Peter Cukor, 67, owned the home where the slaying occurred

Daniel Dewitt was arrested nearby and is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Al DeWitt, who died of stomach cancer in 2003, was the first African-American to serve on Alameda's City Council. He served nine years, first as councilman, then vice mayor, and later as acting mayor.

Daniel Dewitt's mother, Candy Dewitt, told the San Francisco Chronicle, that her son had a history of mental illness

Daniel Dewitt, who played football at Alameda High, is pictured here on his MaxPreps profile page. 

His name appears on this list of 2007 Alameda High graduates.

Mark Irons February 20, 2012 at 07:10 PM
The fact this is Al's grandson, while not irrelevant is of least interest to me. As young children our eldest child and Daniel were in an in home day care together here in Alameda. We remember Daniel as a really beautiful, gentle, sweet child and his parents were lovely. This is a horrible tragedy from every angle.
Alice Lewis February 20, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I agree with Mark. Although we haven't kept in touch over the years, I remember Daniel as gentle and sweet as well. He was in our youngest daughter's class at St. Joseph's Elementary School. My heart goes out to all...
Kelly Taylor February 20, 2012 at 10:51 PM
How tragic that this young man did not get the mental health care that he needed and that this gentleman died because of it. Tragedy all around. My condolences to both families.
Janice Caldeira Wilkes February 20, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I have known this family before they ever had children. They are wonderful careing people. Daniel I have known since his birth. I too have known him as a beautiful, gentle and sweet child. This tragic incident brings to light the dirty little secret of how poor our mental health system is. Daniel parents have tried every avenue availed to them under the letter of the law....frantic...desperate...they get the same drill...the revolving door of heavy medication...72 hours in a mental health clinic and then released to the streets. Each time he gets sicker and sicker. There are not enough beds...not enough funding...Daniel is no the criminal here the system is....shame...shame on us. Janice Wilkes
Noname February 21, 2012 at 12:52 AM
I agree with all of you and am glad to know that others feel compassion for both families. I went to high school with Daniel and also remember him as sweet and kind. I didn't know he was unstable but my heart goes out to Candy and the rest of Daniel's family, as well as the victim's family.
Plf February 21, 2012 at 03:51 AM
We pray for the victims family. We also pray for Hans and candy which we will support them.
candydewitt February 21, 2012 at 05:16 AM
your support means so much to all of us
MagWil01 February 21, 2012 at 07:40 AM
The suspect and the family have been living a life in hell already. The suspect is also a victim. A victim of a brain disorder. He was not trying to steal or vandalize or rape. He was confused. And the family has obviously spent a great deal of time attempting to change the system. The way it currently works is when the symptoms of the illness are severe, you are allowed into the hospital. But being over 18, you are also allowed to leave and not take medication. It strongly appears the family attempted to change that system. With budget cuts and the passage of bills like the 1971 Laterman Act, there are no alternatives to helping those with this illness. I pray for both families, for their losses, for their grief, for their anger. Both families are victims, but in different ways. If a man had a stroke driving a car and killed a pedestrian, would he be viewed the same as a man that broke into a home for drugs? The victim was not murdered for murder is an intentional act. The state of mind is important in determining what type of homicide has taken place. I have seen dozens of articles but i don't see anything indicating that the suspects family is washing their hands of the incident. I see a family that has struggled for years to change the system, to fight to keep this very thing from happening. Unless you have worked in the system, seen the legal restrictions on getting medical care, you cannot begin to understand what has happened here. Both families need support!
athena b February 21, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I am so sad to hear about Daniel. I know Candy and Al have given Daniel kindness and love. This tragedy is shocking and heartbreaking. My love and support go out to the families.
Hugh Morgan February 21, 2012 at 05:07 PM
We are praying for the Dewitt family and for the folks in Berkeley.
Diane Bustos February 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM
My heart is heavy with this news...so many good people affected by the lack of integrity in the system. All are victims here...I say to the widow in Berkeley, "I'm so sorry for your loss." I say to Al and Candy, "I am so sorry for your loss. I admire you for your courage to stand up in the face of tragedy and speak your truth. I hope Daniel finally gets the care he needs. You are in my thoughts and prayers."
Ann Manatt February 24, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Candy and Al, Our hearts go out to you and to the family in Berkeley. We worked with Daniel for a long time and know what a good and gentle youth he was. Much love to you and prayers for peace, Ann and Thomas

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