$155,000 Bail Set in Anti-Chinese Graffiti Case

Vivian Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, September 11, 2015

A San Francisco superior court judge set a high bail for a man accused of spray-painting anti-Chinese graffiti around the southeast region of the city after prosecutors argued that he should be considered a danger to the public because of his access to firearms.

John Schenone, 62, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of vandalism and committing a hate crime for allegedly using orange paint to scrawl “no more Chinese” on several locations in the Portola and Bayview neighborhoods.

Schenone’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Yali Corea-Levy, asked the judge to release his client on his own recognizance, saying that few people accused of vandalism are forced to stay in jail because of high bail.

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Schenone was arrested Tuesday in connection to the graffiti, which was discovered Sunday in various locations less than a mile from his home. Following the discovery of the graffiti, community members rallied around the city’s Chinese community, hosting rallies advocating peace and decrying the anti-Chinese sentiments they said were expressed in the messages.

Judge Edward Torpoco echoed the community’s concern over the messages, and set Schenone’s bail at $155,000.

“This case is more than just a vandalism case,” he said. “The nature of the vandalism expresses a sort of animus or hatred to people in the community.”

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