California Researcher Attacked At Home

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Police said several students from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) attacked a researcher, who uses mice to study breast cancer, at her home Feb. 24.

The biology professor, who declined to give her name to protect herself and her family from more violence, was at home with her children and husband when the alleged assailants attacked her home just before noon. The suspects attacked the professor’s husband and then fled the scene in a vehicle. Because the incident happened in daylight, the husband, who suffered minor injuries, was able to write down the license plate of the car.

No arrests have been made although police did raid a home where several UCSC students reside. Authorities believe six individuals were involved in the attack. During the raid, police confiscated handwriting samples, computers and bandanas from which DNA can be obtained.

Several weeks prior to the incident, protesters marked the sidewalk in front of the professor’s home with the words “murderer” and “torturer” in chalk. The protestors also scribbled graffiti at the home of one of her research colleagues and smeared garbage at the homes of two university employees.

Martha C. Zuniga, a professor in the same department but not a subject of an attack, said the university took measures to calm the faculty by hiring security officers for those whose homes had been attacked and improving the patrols around animal research offices.

In early February, a researcher, Edythe London, from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) had her house firebombed by protesters. The attack was the second she had received for her research on nicotine addiction using lab monkeys. In the first attack, London’s house was flooded.

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