Reporting Deputy: Lieutenant Brandi Swan
File # D231000039
On Wednesday, April 5, 2023, about 7:21 AM, deputies from the Hemet Sheriff’s Station were dispatched to an elementary school in the 57500 block of Mitchell Road in Anza, regarding racist graffiti found written on the school and on the roadway nearby. Deputies obtained photographs depicting the graffiti from school administrators, who discovered the writings when they arrived at work. School was out of session for spring break and and there were 5-10 students on campus for an extended learning opportunity.
Deputies and investigators began an investigation with the full cooperation of school administrators. Investigators obtained surveillance video of three suspects committing the graffiti on April 4, 2023, about 10:25PM. After picture and video evidence was collected, cleanup efforts were promptly initiated due to the graphic nature of the graffiti that was visible to the public. Based on investigative leads, investigators were able to identify one of the suspects responsible for the graffiti and additional evidence linking the suspect to the crime. An arrest warrant was sought and granted by a judge and a search for the suspect was conducted.
On April 10, 2023, the 17-year-old male suspect was located and arrested in Ventura, California, for a hate crime, criminal threats of violence, and vandalism. The suspect was transported to Riverside County Juvenile Hall and is being held on $100,000 bail. The two additional suspects involved are still being identified and charges will be sought against them.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office takes hate crimes very seriously. Crimes motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability will not be tolerated. We will vigorously investigate and bring any individuals or groups responsible for hate crimes to justice. If you are a victim of a hate crime, call or go to your nearest police or sheriff’s station to report the crime.
Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is asked to call Investigator Devin Diyorio of the Hemet Sheriff’s Station at 951-791-3400.
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