SAN JACINTO: Hate crime on quiet cul-de-sac shocks victims, neighbors

SAN JACINTO — Sheriff’s officials are investigating an early-morning, hate crime-related vandalism after a woman awoke to find two vehicles spray painted with hate-related messages and symbols. The vandalism happened at a private residence June 15, on the 810 block of Horizon Court in San Jacinto.

The residence is located on a quiet cul-de-sac in a small residential neighborhood, east of N. Ramona Boulevard and northwest of Chase Street. The small street only has nine, newer homes.

A photo posted to Facebook, which was later removed, showed a burgundy vehicle that had been spray painted with swastikas and racial epithets. The owner later said she purchased the vehicle just four months ago.

Just before 4 a.m., deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s San Jacinto Police Station responded to a report of a vandalism.

“Officers found the resident’s vehicles parked in the driveway had been spray painted with anti-Semitic symbols and derogatory words towards their race,” Riverside Sheriff’s Lieutenant Chad Bianco said in a written press release after the incident.

Based on the symbols and language of the vandalism, deputies quickly determined the vandalism was a hate crime.

“My little brother woke me up and told me someone wrote all over my car,” the victim, Brandy, told CBS News. “It’s very hurtful.”

Another vehicle, which reportedly belonged to Brandy’s sister, was also similarly vandalized.

“I knew obviously it was racial,” Brandy later explained. “I just don’t know who would do it because I don’t have any enemies around here.”

After hearing about the vandalism and seeing photos posted on social media, nearby resident Shannon Douglas said she was “shocked and appalled” at what she called a “hate-filled” act.

“I live just two streets from (the victim),” Douglas said, explaining she no longer felt as safe as she did before the vandalism. “This could have been directed at me. This could have been any of us. I don’t understand why people choose to be so filled with hate.”

The San Jacinto Police Department is “fully investigating this crime,” said Bianco.

Anyone with additional information regarding the incident to contact Investigator Medina at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station (951) 791-3400. Callers can refer to incident file number I171660014 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

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