Vandal Found Guilty of Hate Crimes for Racist Graffiti
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News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 7, 2016
CONTACT: ALEX BASTIAN-415-553-1931
VANDAL FOUND GUILTY OF HATE CRIMES FOR RACIST GRAFFITI
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that a jury found John Schenone, age 62 of San Francisco, guilty of 13 misdemeanors, including seven counts of vandalism, and six counts of a hate crime by way of defacing property.
“Racism has no place in San Francisco,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “We pride ourselves on being a diverse, tolerant and inclusive city. Actions such as these strike at the heart of who we are and the values we hold dear.”
According to court records, on September 7, 2015, SFPD officers operating out of the Bayview Station were notified that graffiti had appeared at approximately six separate locations in the City’s Portola District. This is an area known to have a high population of Chinese residents. The graffiti in all locations bore the message, “NO MORE CHINESE.” The vandalism was committed using the same bright orange spray paint at all locations. The locations where the graffiti appeared were the California Soccer Association North at 1348 Silver Avenue, a home that was for sale at 165 Brussels Street, and a home that was under construction at 167 Brussels Street, the Fresh & Easy Market at 1390 Silver Avenue, the backstop of a baseball diamond of Palega Park at 100 Somerset Street, a fence at 454 University Street, and on the street on Bayshore Boulevard near what was later identified as the Defendant’s residence.
SFPD investigated the crime scenes and determined that the graffiti at each location had been made with the same type and color instrument during the night of September 6, 2015, and they obtained surveillance video of two of the incidents. Both videos depicted the same distinctive 1980s model white pickup truck, driven by the same person with a distinctive build and gait. The identity of the driver was known to officers at Bayview Station, and a search warrant was executed on September 8, 2015. The officers who executed the search warrant found the same truck that was depicted in the surveillance video and the same paint that was used to create the graffiti at Defendant’s residence. Schenone was arrested and taken into custody.
“This outcome would not have been possible without the cooperation of many courageous members of the community,” said ADA Myles Campbell. “They provided crucial evidence that led to the identification of the man who committed these hate crimes.”
This successful prosecution is a result of an excellent investigation conducted by SFPD Sergeant Anthony Damato, Officer Nelson Reyes, Officer Percy Hernandez, and Sergeant Michael Zhang. Paralegal David Ma, and Morris Moore from IT provided indispensable support for the prosecution.