When a tagger gets caught in San Francisco, the miscreant is typically released on his or her own recognizance as they await trial, even if they face a massive number of charges. Not so for alleged vandal John Schenone of San Francisco, however, who stands accused of only one felony...but it's a doozy.
Schenone, a 62-year-old San Franciscan, was arrested last Tuesday after the words “NO MORE CHINESE” were spray painted in at least six locations in San Francisco. According to the San Francisco Police Department, investigators from the Special Investigations Division Hate Crime Unit "were immediately able to identify a vehicle and person of interest," and after a bulletin with the suspect details was circulated throughout the department, officers from Bayview Station spotted and detained Schenone, saying he's the one who did the deed.
Appearing in court on Friday, Bay City News reports that Schenone pled not guilty to one felony and at least two misdemeanor offenses, a far cry from the 19 charges an alleged tagger like Cryst faced earlier this year. But while Cryst was released after his initial arrest, Schenone will remain behind bars, as Judge Edward Torpoco said that he believes that Schenone "poses a public safety threat."
Prosecutors concurred with Torpoco's assessment, saying that when police searched Schenone's home, they found four guns, and they they believe he could easily get more.
Public defender Yali Corea-Levi, who took on the case after Schenone told Torpoco he couldn't afford an attorney (maybe he spent all his money on guns?), argued that Schenone legally owns the guns, and that "there are no allegations his client possessed any guns during the alleged spray-painting."
Given the nature of the crime, Torpoco was unswayed...but only to a point, as Schenone's bail was set at $155,000. A call to the San Francisco Sheriff's Department to see if the alleged tagger had posted that bond and been released was not returned as on Monday morning.