Crime

Possible hate crime seen in vandalism of Yosemite High coach’s car

Words painted on Victor Salazar’s car included hateful slurs for homosexual people that have been blacked out by the Sierra Star.
Words painted on Victor Salazar’s car included hateful slurs for homosexual people that have been blacked out by the Sierra Star. Courtesy photo

A coach at Yosemite High School has been targeted for a hate crime, where three of his family’s vehicles were vandalized, including one covered in feces and foul painted messages like a phallic object with the word “Trump” inside it.

On March 20, JV soccer coach Victor Salazar returned from a weekend vacation in Bakersfield to his family’s home on Pierce Drive in Oakhurst, and saw his father’s Chevrolet Silverado truck sprayed with mustard and wrapped in plastic.

His mom’s Subaru was also vandalized in a similar fashion, Salazar said, and some penises were drawn on the car as well.

According to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, someone wrote on the truck “go back to Mexico” and “cut my grass better ...” The other vehicle had “go back to Mexico” scrawled on it.

Salazar said both acts appeared to be a prank, which his family laughed off, cleaned up and didn’t report to authorities.

However, around 12:30 a.m. Monday, witnesses reportedly chased off two suspects vandalizing Salazar’s Volkswagen Jetta with hate-filled messages.

The suspects were described as two males clad in black, with one heavy in weight and about 6 feet tall, and the other a thin build around 5-foot-6 inches tall.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the situation as a hate crime, asked anyone with information to call (559) 675-7770.

Among the vandalism was a foul slang term for homosexuals, as well as “Go back to Mexico,” “Merrry Christmas b---h,” and more.

Salazar, who graduated from YHS in 2014 and took up coaching the JV boys soccer team last year, said he couldn’t understand who had performed such hateful crimes.

“I was very loved by teachers and students,” Salazar said. “And now that I started coaching at the high school, I was even more. And the more I think about it, I cannot picture who would have done this.”

On social media, many in the Oakhurst area expressed their support for the Salazars, and hopes that authorities locate the suspects soon.

“I hope one day before you die you look back on your actions and realize the errors in your ways,” David Goodwin wrote, saying he forgives the offenders. “I hope before you leave Earth you can finally see the general good in the people you hate today ... it’s so sad you’re in a state of perpetual hate that you can’t see this.”

“I feel sick,” said Natalie Parra. “I can’t believe that people like this live here. Pitiful.”

Salazar said he was able to clean the paint off of his car, but the vehicle suffered heavy dents.

Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Ward said the crime was unusual for Madera County, and the “extreme” vandalism would not be tolerated.

“Hate crimes are incredibly unusual for this area and in the county,” Ward said. “We’re definitely working to find whoever did this.”

Related stories from Fresno Bee

  Comments