Oakland man arrested after 'arson attacks' at UC Berkeley

Casey Goonan is facing multiple felony charges, including "the possession and use of destructive devices and multiple counts of arson."

Oakland man arrested after 'arson attacks' at UC Berkeley
A UC Berkeley police vehicle was set on fire in early June. Ariel Nava Photo

Authorities have announced the arrest of an Oakland man in connection with four "arson attacks" at UC Berkeley this month.

On Monday evening, Cal Fire announced the arrest of 34-year-old Casey Robert Goonan "in connection with the firebombing attack of a UC Berkeley Police Department vehicle and three other arson attacks on UC Berkeley campus during the month of June."

Goonan was arrested Monday "following a comprehensive investigation" by Cal Fire's Office of the State Fire Marshal Arson and Bomb Unit, UC Berkeley police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Scanner was the first to report the arrest.

Casey Goonan. ACSO

Goonan is now facing multiple felony charges, authorities said, including "the possession and use of destructive devices and multiple counts of arson."

He is in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $1 million, according to Monday's statement. According to booking records, he was arrested just after 9 a.m.

The Scanner has been asking authorities for weeks for updates in the investigation into the arson attacks, which have been linked to pro-Palestinian activities.

In early June, an anonymous author posting online took responsibility for setting a UCPD police vehicle on fire "in solidarity with our Palestinian siblings assaulted by the zionist state in Rafah."

In a similarly-worded statement last week, an anonymous author posting on the Indybay activist website said they had set UC Berkeley's Koshland Hall on fire.


On Sunday, another anonymous statement on Indybay said there had been additional incidents as well, including the "successful looting of a u.c.b supply building of thousands of dollars," the "experimental burning of dry grass hills on the interior of campus" and an arson at a construction site, "mostly construction materials, wood pallets, and massive dry bush area."

The same day, UCPD announced that there had been an arson fire at the Dwinelle Annex construction site, noting, "Subsequent investigation revealed that it was arson."

On Monday afternoon, The Scanner asked UCPD whether it had linked a suspect to the other incidents described on Indybay but had not heard back as of publication time.

Casey Goonan has, however, been linked online to other protest-related activities and at least one resulting arrest in recent years.

The Scanner asked authorities for a booking photograph of Goonan and will update this story if it is provided.

He is scheduled for arraignment Thursday morning, according to booking records online.

If that happens as scheduled, more details should become available in court papers about the charges he is facing.

Cal Fire asks anyone who wishes to report arson activity to email the Office of the State Fire Marshal Arson and Bomb Unit at arsonbomb@fire.ca.gov or call Cal Fire's Arson Hotline at 800-468-4408.

Update, June 18: The Scanner added Casey Goonan's booking photograph to the story when it was provided.

Update, June 28: The Alameda County DA's office charged Goonan with arson of property, two counts of possession of a destructive device, destructive device near populated locations, and three counts of arson of a structure or forest.

The charged incidents are described in court papers as the destruction of a UCPD patrol vehicle on June 1 at about 5:10 a.m.; a grass fire north of the East Asian Library at 10:20 p.m.; a fire on the north side of Koshland Hall on June 13 at 4:10 a.m.; and a fire in the Dwinelle Annex construction site on June 16 at about 1:40 p.m.

Goonan is scheduled to enter a plea July 2 and remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $450,000.

According to court papers, Goonan is a Pleasant Hill resident.

Another arson at UC Berkeley, ‘student intifada’ takes credit
Activists said they “unloaded a firebomb” at UC Berkeley due to UC’s “treatment of student protestors.” UC must divest “or face our wrath.”
UC Berkeley police car burned, possibly in support of Palestine
UC Berkeley officials declined to comment on the matter and referred all inquiries to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.