Sheriff's deputies nab hate vandal suspects



San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies arrested three former Mesa Middle School students on April 25 in connection with a hate incident at the school.

According to a Sheriff Department’s report, two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old were arrested in Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria, and Nipomo. All three were booked on charges of burglary, vandalism, criminal conspiracy, and interference with civil rights, the report said.

The attack, which triggered a hate speech investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, took place in early April at Mesa Middle School, south of Arroyo Grande. Vandals drew swastikas on a gym door and class whiteboards. It was the second hate-related incident in the Arroyo Grande area within two weeks; the first was the burning of an 11-foot cross in view of the bedroom window of a 19-year old African American woman on March 18. Sheriff’s investigators said they believe the incidents are unrelated. No suspects have been arrested in that case.

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