Suspect in arsons at UC Berkeley lives in parents’ million-dollar home, is a PhD grad, and called US a ‘fascist hellhole’

A suspect arrested in relation to arson attacks at University of California, Berkeley is a 34-year-old PhD student who lived in his parents’ million-dollar home and called the U.S. a “fascist hellhole.”

California and federal law enforcement say that 34-year-old Casey Goonan was arrested on Monday for allegedly committing four acts of arson at Berkeley during pro-Palestinian anti-Israel protests on campus.

‘Scientific, premeditated, and necessarily methodical artistry of social revolution.’

His attorney confirmed that officials had raided Goonan’s parents’ home in Pleasant Hill on Monday at about 10 a.m.

A CalFire news release said that Goonan had been booked into the Alameda County jail on suspicion of arson and possession and use of destructive devices and held on a $1 million bail.

The San Francisco Standard reported that Goonan had received a doctorate from Northwestern University in African-American studies and unearthed some far-left statements he had made in the past.

The suspect considered himself a “scholar-activist,” according to a biography from an academic journal in 2018, and said that he aspired to be a professor. Goonan obtained the doctorate in 2022, according to an Instagram post from his mother, and had previously studied at UC Riverside, which is also in California.

He was later described as an “abolitionist currently living and working in Chicago” in a separate bio from 2019.

The Standard said that Goonan called the U.S. a “god-awful fascist hell hole” in online articles and said that social injustice was “concealed under the blinders of white supremacist American reason.”

Another article written by Goonan was entitled “Defining Social Reality in a Revolutionary Way” and praised the Black Panther Party for providing a “blueprint” for the “scientific, premeditated, and necessarily methodical artistry of social revolution.”

The arson attacks were committed between June 1 and June 16 at the university. One incident included the firebombing of a Berkeley campus police car. At the time, pro-Palestinian posts online had claimed credit for the attacks as a form of protest against U.S. support for Israel.

“This was done to further retaliate against the UCPD for attacking students at UCSC and UCLA,” read one post.


Goonan’s attorney, Jeff Wozniak, accused law enforcement officials of targeting his client over his political beliefs.

“This is a political investigation,” wrote Wozniak. “It is an investigation focused on Mr. Goonan’s political beliefs in a free Palestine and against the ongoing genocide in Gaza. If charges are filed, Mr. Goonan’s legal team will aggressively fight the charges.”

Israel has been committed to a military action in the Gaza Strip to root out Hamas terrorists over a horrendous attack on civilians on Oct. 7 that took the lives of 1,139 people. Another 250 people were taken hostage, including some U.S. citizens.

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