24/7 Security New Norm for Cal Chancellor - NBC Bay Area

24/7 Security New Norm for Cal Chancellor



    24/7 Security New Norm for Cal Chancellor

    A police car now sits in front of University of California at Berkeley's Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's home 24/7.

    The added security is in place following a violent attack on his home over the weekend.

    Birgeneau and his wife were asleep overnight Friday when dozens of people, many armed with torches, stormed their yard. 
    The group smashed planters and windows at the home which is on the north side of campus.  They also threw the torches, but nothing caught fire.

    Birgeneau said he and his wife genuinely feared for their lives. 

    Mary Catherine Birgeneau told NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez Monday that anyone who would did this kind of attack should be considered dangerous. She said if they are students she doesn't think they should be allowed to come back to school.

    She had this to say about the torches:

    "I'm sure they had the intention of using them had they been able to get in through the windows which in retrospect is very frightening," Mary Catherine Birgeneau said.

    The group said they did it in protest to budget cuts and fee hikes at the college, but many students said it went way over the line.

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger went so far as to call it "terrorism" and said it would not be tolerated.    "California will not tolerate any type of terrorism against any leaders, including educators," Schwarzenegger said in a statement released  Saturday.   

    He added that the incident was a criminal act, and participants will be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law.

    When police arrived, people scattered.  In the end eight people were arrested for rioting, threatening an education  official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, felony vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. 

    University of California President Mark Yudof offered support to Birgeneau and his family.  

     "The attack on Chancellor (Robert) Birgeneau's residence late last  night was appalling," Yudof said in a prepared statement. "The behavior as described went far beyond the boundaries of public dissent, and such lawlessness cannot be tolerated."