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Second person of interest identified in Hillcrest hate-crime vandalism case

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Posted at 1:17 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 16:17:38-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a second person believed to be linked to a hate-crime vandalism case in Hillcrest.

One day after releasing a photo of a person of interest linked to two acts of vandalism on Jan. 23, police on Thursday released a surveillance image of a second person believed to have been involved in the crime.

The indistinct image depicts a pedestrian on a darkened roadside, wearing dark-colored pants and a hooded jacket with the cowl pulled up.

Police say the two people may have been responsible for vandalizing Black Lives Matter signs at Rich’s nightclub at 1051 University Ave. and University Christian Church at 3900 Cleveland Ave. The signs were splattered with pink paint, according to police.

The incidents are being investigated as hate crimes, SDPD officials said.

RELATED: San Diego leaders denounce pair of Hillcrest hate crimes, release suspect photo

On Wednesday, Mayor Todd Gloria, Police Chief David Nisleit and other local civic and government leaders gathered to condemn the acts of malicious property damage and to seek tips from the public.

"This was more than vandalism -- this was an attack on our community," Gloria said. "We will not shrug off hate against any San Diegan. Racism and bigotry in any form will not be tolerated in our city. We will identify (those) responsible for these hateful acts and hold them accountable."

Gloria and Nisleit were joined at the news conference by City Council President Jennifer Campbell, Council President Pro-Tem Stephen Whitburn, City Attorney Mara Elliot, University Christian Church senior pastor Rev. Caleb Lines, Rich's nightclub owner Ryan Bedrosian, San Diego Pride chair and director of diversity and community life at The Bishop's School David Thompson Jr., and San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Zweifach Lopez.

"Hateful acts of any kind will not be tolerated in our communities," Nisleit said. "I encourage any community member to contact the Police Department if they believe they have been a victim of hate so that all allegations can be thoroughly investigated and victims can seek justice."