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.
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.”