Arrests made after racially motivated vandalism in Oakhurst

Two juveniles were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of smearing feces and paint on two vehicles and writing racially motivated phrases on them in Oakhurst, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said.

The juveniles, ages 15 and 16, allegedly wrote “go back to Mexico,” “cut my grass better” and other phrases on a pickup and second vehicle that were parked in the driveway of home on Pierce Drive, the sheriff’s office said. The cars were also smeared with paint and feces.

Media coverage of the vandalism may have led the two juveniles to contact the victim and apologize in the hope they wouldn’t be punished, the sheriff’s office said.

Officers received a report on March 21 at 1 a.m. that a pickup and another vehicle were vandalized, along with toilet paper thrown around the front yard and in the trees, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said a neighbor reported two people in dark clothing running from the victim’s home when his dogs’ barking prompted him to check outside shortly before 1 a.m the night of the vandalism. The neighbor reported that one person was around 6 feet tall and heavyset and the second was thin and around 5-foot-6.

Both juveniles were booked into the Madera County Juvenile Hall for felony vandalism and committing a hate crime.

The Sierra Star reported that one of the vehicles belongs to Victor Salazar, a JV soccer coach at Yosemite High School.

Razi Syed: 559-441-6679, @razisyed

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