SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, January 7, 62-year-old John Schenone of San Francisco was found guilty of hate crimes for anti-Chinese graffiti in the Portola District of San Francisco.
District Attorney George Gascón announced that Schenone was found guilty of 13 misdemeanors, including seven counts of vandalism and six counts of a hate crime by way of defacing property.
According to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, court records revealed that police officers working in the Bayview station, were notified on September 7, 2015, that bright orange graffiti consisting of the message “NO MORE CHINESE,” appeared in six separate locations in the City’s Portola District. The area is known for having a high population of Chinese residents.
“The specific 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,” states a press release from the SF District Attorney’s Office.
A 1980s model white pickup truck, with Schenone as the recognized driver was spotted via a couple of surveillance videos obtained by San Francisco officials. The SFPD additionally investigated the crime scenes and determined that the graffiti at each location had been made with the same type and color instrument.
A search warrant was executed on September 8, 2015, where officers found the same truck seen in the surveillance videos and the same paint that was used to vandalize property, outside of the defendant’s residence. Schenone was arrested and taken into custody.
“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.”
The San Francisco District Attorney’s office notes that SFPD Sergeant Anthony Damato, Officer Nelson Reyes, Officer Percy Hernandez, and Sergeant Michael Zhang conducted the investigation. Paralegal David Ma, and Morris Moore from IT also provided support for the prosecution.
“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.”
Schenone is scheduled to return to court February 5 for sentencing.