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UPDATE: Racist Graffiti Found at Agoura High

Sheriff's detectives are called to the campus to investigate two incidents of "general racist views against African Americans."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's detectives were on the Agoura High School campus on Tuesday, May 15, to investigate two incidents of racist graffiti.  Credit: Susan Pascal
Los Angeles County Sheriff's detectives were on the Agoura High School campus on Tuesday, May 15, to investigate two incidents of racist graffiti. Credit: Susan Pascal
Update 9:15 a.m

As the investigation into the graffiti hate crime continues, law enforcement officials report that five students were targeted in Wednesday's incident.

The Hate Crime Task force is reviewing evidence which includes surveillance video from over the weekend that reportedly may have captured the culprit in the act. 

There is no suspect being considered at this time; however, "all leads, whether they are rumor or not, are being looked at," said Lt. David Thompson of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station detective bureau.
Update 8 a.m.

School officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for racist graffiti scrawled across campus buildings and inside a boy's bathroom.

Wednesday's incident reportedly included names of students.

"My son's name showed up on the list,'' Astrid Kastenberg said in remarks reported by NBC4.

Principal Larry Misel said the incidents were not immediately reported to the community.

"There was an extensive investigation, and some of the clues were unique in this case, so we were advised not to release the information right away" he said.

Stay with Agoura Hills Patch for continued updates on this story.
 
Update 4:45 p.m.


Lt. David Thompson of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station detective bureau tells Patch that, though there is "nothing substantial yet," the Hate Crimes Task Force is reviewing all forensic evidence.

Thompson described the the weekend graffiti as "general racist views against African Americans."

"[Tuesday's] incident was a little more specific," he said. "We're not going to release the details at this time."

Detective JT Manwell said he wanted to reassure parents that there was no imminent danger to students.

"We completely understand their concern," he said. "But based on the evidence we have now, we haven't been able to identify anyone with a specific motive."

Detectives believe Tuesday's incident occurred during the early morning hours; consequently, overnight security will be beefed up on the campus.

Original Story

Racist graffiti has been discovered on the Agoura High School campus, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials have confirmed.

Sheriff's detectives and the Hate Crimes Task Force is on the scene investigating two separate incidents that occurred Tuesday and over the weekend, said Lt. Mathers of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station.

The weekend incident involved "racist hate" spray painted on the exterior of several buildings, while today's incident occurred in a boy's bathroom, Mathers said.

Larry Misel, Agoura High School principal, told Patch that the school and district are working closely with law enforcement to find the culprit or culprits.

"I want to emphasize that there there is no tangible threat to any of our students," Misel said.

Misel credits new Sheriff's Station Captain Patrick Davoren for moving quickly on the investigation.

"He's just been incredible at getting law enforcement immediately to the campus," Misel said.

All traces of the weekend's exterior and bathroom graffiti has been removed so as not to upset the students, he said.

"Police are now working with photos ... and a variety of clues," he said.

Misel said there has never been an incident like this before at the Agoura campus.

Schools Superintendent Dan Stepenosky told Patch that the "safe, supportive environment" of the school will be maintained but that he has asked the sheriff's department to remain "extra vigilant."

School officials are asking anyone with information about the incidents, to contact the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station at 818-878-1808.

-- City News Service contributed to this story.
John May 16, 2013 at 03:22 PM
What a shame for our community.

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