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

BERKELEY, CA - APRIL 26, 2024 - Students and concerned citizens camp out in front of Sproul
Students and community activists camp out in front of Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus to protest the war in Gaza on April 26. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Read more: Man arrested in attack on UCLA pro-Palestinian protesters

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, 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 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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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.