The suspected vandal arrested Tuesday in connection with the anti-Chinese graffiti spray painted across a Portola neighborhood has been charged with the hate crimes by the District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors said.
John Schenone, 62, was charged this week with 13 counts including felony vandalism with a hate crime enhancement, the District Attorney’s office said. Schenone allegedly painted in orange, capital letters the words “NO MORE CHINESE” at six locations.
The targeted locations included parts of the Palega Recreation Center, a vacant lot and grocery store, an under construction home, a house for sale and an office building, police said.
At the Police Commission meeting Wednesday, Chief Greg Suhr said Schenone lives on Bayshore Boulevard at the border of the very same neighborhood he’s suspected of vandalizing.
On Monday, the morning after the graffiti appeared, police launched a hate crime investigation and canvassed the neighborhood for surveillance footage. Suhr said the footage that was found yielded an image of a suspect vehicle.
The vehicle — a truck — was spotted on Bayshore Boulevard and Bacon Street by Officer Percy Hernandez, Suhr said. Schenone was then arrested in connection with the crimes.
“I’m very grateful that they caught him so quickly,” Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Portola neighborhood, told the San Francisco Examiner. “This kind of hate speech is not going to be tolerated.”
News of the hate crime allegations against Schenone is not the first time Campos has heard of the allegedly disgruntled resident. Schenone has contacted the supervisor’s office with “very aggressive” and “disrespectful” comments about John McLaren Park, Campos said.
But “one bad apple” does not represent the whole community, Campos said. He plans to participate in a rally at the Palega Recreation Center to condemn the anti-Chinese graffiti Thursday evening.
“The point of the rally is to bring the community together,” Campos said. “It’s important not only for the community to speak out… but also to show that this community is united.”
The City’s population consists of some 172,000 Chinese people, according to the most recent Census data — 21.4 percent of residents.
Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink