Man arrested in connection with firebombing of UC Berkeley police car during campus protests

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A man was arrested Monday in connection with the firebombing of a UC Berkeley Police Department vehicle and three other arson attacks at the height of pro-Palestinian protests on the Berkeley campus, authorities announced.

Casey Robert Goonan, 34, was booked into Alameda County jail on suspicion of arson and possession and use of destructive devices, according to a Cal Fire news release. He’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

The alleged incidents occurred in June. Cal Fire didn’t include further details, including whether anyone was injured in the attacks. The incidents were investigated by Cal Fire’s Office of the State Fire Marshal Arson and Bomb Unit, the UC Berkeley Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI.

University officials confirmed that no one was injured and no damage was done to campus buildings due to the fires.

Jeff Wozniak, Goonan’s attorney, said that no charges have been filed by the Alameda County district attorney’s office and called the arrest “a political investigation.”

Wozniak said that multiple law enforcement agencies raided Goonan’s parents’ home in Pleasant Hill on Monday morning.

“It is an investigation focused on Mr. Goonan’s political beliefs in a free Palestine and against the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” Wozniak said in a statement. “The search warrant specifically sought ‘documents related to the conflict between Israel and Palestine,’ illustrating that this is an investigation to place blame on Mr. Goonan because of his opposition to genocide and demand for a free Palestine.”

Pro-Palestinian supporters who had been protesting on the Berkeley campus have claimed responsibility for the firebombing and arson attacks. In a post last week on Indybay.org, a group called Student Intifada wrote: “UCLA students were attacked last night, so we retaliated with a firebomb on UCB campus.”

“Not sure what building it even was. Honestly dont really care,” the post said. “Every single building on the UC Berkeley campus deserves to be incinerated following the UC system’s treatment of student protestors.”

Another Sunday post on Indybay.org under the handle “Marilyn’s Daughters” claimed responsibility for the “retaliation arson attack on construction site at university of kkkalifornia berkeley.”

The pro-Palestinian group said they carried out an “experimental burning of dry grass hills on the interior of campus,” torched a building on the perimeter of the campus and set fire to construction materials at a construction site.

A small fire was set at the Dwinelle Annex construction site Sunday afternoon, according to news reports. Another fire was also reported outside Koshland Hall last week.

A social media account called Escalate Network also posted on X in support of Goonan:

“In the coming days, fundraiser information and other next steps will emerge from movement defense collectives in California. We should all be uplifting them and sharing them with our bases. We will defend those who fight! Free Palestine.”

Wozniak is also representing Goonan in another case, in which he faces a felony vandalism charge. Goonan is accused of smashing a Hilton Hotel sign during a protest in San Francisco outside the Women’s Declaration International USA conference in September 2023.

Wozniak confirmed that Goonan was protesting “an anti trans gathering at the Hilton.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.