OAKLAND (KCBS) – One of Oakland’s landmark buildings was spared from major damage during the violence that followed Wednesday’s Occupy Oakland general strike, thanks to a man sentry who stood guard in the lobby.
Prominent real estate developer Phil Tagami brought a shotgun to the ground floor of his offices in the historic Rotunda Building Wednesday night in order to ward off protesters who were trying to force their way inside. It worked.
He told KCBS that he brought his personal shotgun from home because he was worried about things getting dicey when he and his staff were working late. After protesters commandeered the building’s parking garage, essentially trapping him inside, Tagami stood guard in the Rotunda’s ornate lobby.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
“It was a pretty serious situation,” he explained. “So I stood up and racked the shotgun and took a few steps toward them and didn’t even need to point it. That’s kind of a universal ‘maybe this isn’t a good idea’ thing. We really left the rest to the police, we stayed inside the building and let the police do their job.”
For the Oakland native, the Rotunda Building in Frank Ogawa Plaza is more than just an historic city landmark. It was a reception site for Gov. Jerry Brown’s wedding, and one that Tagami himself oversaw the $50 million renovation of – which is why he wasn’t about to let vandals deface it.
Tagami acknowledges receiving some hate e-mail, but Twitter comments seems to be filled with praise for Tagami. He’s become something of a folk hero overnight, with some suggesting a run for mayor.
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