Hateful graffiti sprayed on downtown Antioch businesses

- Hateful messages and symbols were spray-painted all over downtown Antioch over the weekend.

"They hit a barber shop, they hit churches, they hit restaurants, a whole bunch of stuff. It's unacceptable, really," said Akiel Horn of Antioch. "It still shows that there's racism out here."

The Church of God-Holy on 3rd Street was vandalized with a term derogatory toward women, along with swastikas.

"So I rushed down here and just was speechless of the fact that there would be swastikas on a black church building, and the fact that we just moved in," said church pastor Eugene Jackson.

Guillermo Mijango stopped by the church and consoled the pastor. The building formerly housed the Palabra de Dios church.

"I came to this church, and to me it was heartbreaking to still see those signs in this modern age," Mijango said.

Antioch police released  images of the vandal, caught spray-painting city vehicles - right outside City Hall.

Private vehicles were hit as well. KTVU found a Ford F-150 truck, apparently owned by the parent of a  Marine, defaced outside a veterans thrift store.

"We put our heart and souls and finances into the downtown area, and this is very disheartening to get the negative," said Debbie Blaisure, whose store, Rivertown Treasure Chest, was among those victimized.

City crews spent the day removing the graffiti at the church, as well as at a mural showing scenes from Antioch's past.. ..

"It's sad," said Yolanda Schamoni, the owner of Cori Cosmetics, another store that was vandalized. "It's sad that people have to destroy other people's property."

Gazing at the mural around the corner from her store, she added, "I mean, this mural's been here clearly for a long time. My business got it too, and for what reason?

All told, about 20 locations were vandalized.  Antioch code-enforcement workers cleaned up all of them, as a courtesy.

"These are victims, and we don't want to victimize the victims by issuing citations or fines, even though it is technically a muni-code violation to have graffiti,," said Curt Michael, code-enforcement manager. "This is obviously unwanted and not something that these folks did to their own businesses."

Antioch police stepped up patrols and were a visible presence all day Monday.

In a statement, the department said, "This criminal behavior is not reflective of our community or our beliefs. As a police department, we are aggressively investigating these crimes. As members of this community, we are saddened and disappointed."

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