Berkeley girl riding bike home from school run down by thieves in car

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A teenaged girl riding a bike home from her first week at middle school was run down in a car by thieves who were after her backpack.

Neighbors rushed out to help and have donated school supplies so she can go back to class tomorrow.

On Monday KRON4 met with the victim. The robbery happened at Russell and Wheeler streets where the robbery happened.

It’s a scary lesson for the eighth grader who is still recovering from the trauma.

She’s in pain a little bit but is sharing her story on Monday warning others to be aware when cycling there.

Fourteen-year-old Kassiopeia O’ Melay just transitioned from being home-schooled to Willard Middle School in Berkeley. Growing up in a family with a passion for cycling, on Friday, she rode her bike home from her first week of school, down Russell Street, through a bike boulevard, when suddenly, a car got too close for comfort.

“I thought maybe they lived here and were getting close to me to come through,” O’ Melay said. “But then, the front passenger window rolls down. An arm reached out, picked up the backpack, and the car hit my bike and drove off really quickly.”

Kassiopeia was hit by the car and robbed of her backpack filled with school supplies, an iPod, and EpiPens for her bee allergy.

“Nothing of real value at all, just stuff that was really important to me,” O’ Melay said.

Fortunately, she was wearing her helmet but suffered from cuts and hurt her arm.

Neighbors on Wheeler Street rushed out to help the young girl and called the police.

“He said, ‘Are you the parent of Kassiopeia?’ father Karl O’ Melay said. “And my wife gets this special look on her face when she’s terrified, and I was there, and it was like time stopped until he said she was OK.”

Kassiopeia is recovering, but her bike is now damaged. As the reality of what happened sinks in, she remains focused on the outpour of support from her community that has donated school supplies in time for her second week of class.

“It’s been pretty well,” Kassiopeia said. “At first, I was freaked out about little things, like my…homework but people have been really supportive. I got my stuff replaced so quickly, and its really been amazing.”

“We’re lucky nothing worse came of it and it’s both ends of the spectrum,” Karl said. “You see one side of society which is the lowest part and all the support she’s gotten.”

Police have yet to identify at least two suspects involved.

The family is hoping that surveillance video from nearby homes can help police identify and catch the thieves, so they won’t put anyone else through the same trauma.

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