Education

No charges yet after chancellor's house vandalized

Monday, December 14, 2009

In Oakland on Monday, the first of eight people who were arrested last weekend for storming the home of UC Berkeley's chancellor, went to court, but the Alameda County district attorney surprised them by not filing charges -- at least, not yet.

On a day when most UC Berkeley students are worried about final exams, others had more serious concerns as they faced arraignment in Alameda County superior court and the wrath of a university administration.

"This was an extraordinarily violent act. They didn't just cross a red line, they jumped over it," said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof.

It is the legal fallout and clean-up, from an attack on the home of the chancellor of UC Berkeley, Robert Birgeneau. After a week of protesting fee hikes, and then arrests, as many as 70 people stormed the house, late Friday night.

"A number of things were broken, windows shattered, flammable objects thrown at the house, garbage was strewn about the porch, police officers were assaulted, their cars were assaulted. It was a very serious attack," said Mogulof.

The university arrested eight people, including three students, but when the first two of them came to court on Monday there was a surprise. There were no charges, not for them, or the six others who would have been arraigned Tuesday.

According to the Alameda County district attorney's office, the absence of charges, does not rule out the possibility of charges in the future. They're looking for evidence. The district attorney's office says it has a video tape and hopes to link faces with actions.

On campus Monday, those who are enrolled appreciated the outrage against fee hikes, but not the execution. Some say they're not in support of violence and were not pleased at the actions taken.

The Alameda County district attorney has until Tuesday to release those under arrest or charge them.

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