Previously released suspect in arson back behind bars

A 20-year-old Daly City man was arrested again in connection with the arson and vandalism of Oceana High School in Pacifica, the third suspect to be arrested for the 2007 incident.

Julian Adler is accused of breaking into the school’s weight room, setting its equipment on fire, and covering several walls with swastikas and graffiti filled with slurs against gays and various ethnicities on April 24, 2007.

Three days after the incident, police arrested Adler along with two alleged accomplices: Robert Anthony Polk Jr., 20, and Daniel Joseph Walsh, 20, both of Pacifica. Polk and Walsh have been sentenced for the crime, but authorities said a lack of evidence forced police to let Adler go. All three were former Oceana High students.

Since the incident, investigators gathered enough evidence to arrest Adler and charge him with felony arson, burglary and vandalism, Sgt. Bart Buchanan said.

The arson and graffiti cost the school several hundred thousand dollars, according to Mike Crilly, Jefferson Union High School District superintendent. He said the suspects broke windows, damaged weight equipment, and put the weight room and the nearby girls’ locker room out of commission until the end of the school year.

“I helped paint out the graffiti — it was everywhere and it was real racist stuff,didn’t leave anybody out,” Crilly said.

Within the graffiti of racial slurs, a bomb threat with a date was also written on the walls, prompting a check from the sheriff’s bomb squad and scaring some students from coming to school that day, Crilly said.

“We do have anti-gay or racial graffiti occasionally in Pacifica, but to this extent the hate that was depicted and the anger was rare,” Buchanan said.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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