Rock and Roll: Broken Glass Pane at Red Door Briefly Causes Chaos

At around 9:10 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, the façade of our beloved Red Door Café was damaged by a piece of thrown debris. This author got to the scene in time to interview key witnesses, take photos of the incident, and grab a smoked tofu sandwich before 10 PM.

Security was called to the scene by quick-thinking Red Door employee Martha, who witnessed the responsible party “try to get [a friend’s] attention” by tossing a “small rock” at the window while on her break. Worried about student and employee safety, she notified security.

Mabel Lu (ME ‘24, Lloyd) and Security Supervisor Trey informed a group of curious bystanders, including this author, that the glass was tempered. Tempered glass is “supposed to crack like that for safety” which means that it shatters into duller pieces rather than breaking into sharper shards. Additionally, instead of breaking and crashing down immediately, cracks in tempered glass spread over time until “gravity [takes] it and it’ll just drop straight down.”

Chatting with the security officers and curious bystanders at the scene gave this author a greater appreciation for the close-knit nature of the Caltech community. The beauty of the window cracks, spreading slowly like spiderwebs across an abandoned barn, and the absurdity of the situation made for great conversation.

Soon after leaving the scene, the author of this article coincidentally ran into student responsible for the damage, who concurred with reports from bystanders that they were simply trying to get the attention of a friend inside the cafe by “[rolling] a rock to them.” However, this plan went away when the rock “skipped” up one of the cracks in the sidewalk and made contact with the glass panel. Security officers were on scene, so it is not unreasonable to assume that administrators know this student’s identity. Only time will tell us if our rock roller is CRCed for their crack.