Registered sex offender arrested in connection with French school graffiti

Police have arrested a 44-year-old registered sex offender for allegedly painting graffiti on a schoolyard wall at a French school in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley this week.

Edward Vanwright, a transient, was identified using video surveillance obtained from the scene at French American International School, located at 150 Oak St., police said. His image was distributed to officers after the graffiti was discovered Tuesday morning.

Park Station officers patrolling the area of Masonic Avenue and Fulton Street spotted Vanwright on Wednesday, according to police.

Vanwright was subsequently booked into custody on suspicion of trespassing, vandalism and being a sex registrant on school grounds. Investigators declined to charge Vanwright with a hate crime and do not believe the incident is linked to terrorism.

The graffiti, believed to be a symbol for the group Five Percent nation that is related to the Nation of Islam, was first discovered by a staff member at the school around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Officers also located a number seven painted on the playground surface.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information about the graffiti is asked to call the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text A Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with “SFPD.”

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