Vandals sought after racist attack on San Francisco church

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Police in San Francisco are looking for the vandals who spray painted hate-filled and racist graffiti inside a Baptist church in the Bayview District.

San Francisco police sent detectives to the church on Oakdale Avenue. What they found was vandalism that caused great damage and pain.

The damage is not on the outside of St. Paul's Tabernacle Church in the Bayview. It was inside.

Rev. Greg Valentine's office was ransacked. Racial epithets were spray painted on the walls of not just the office, but the sanctuary as well.

"This door right here, they busted through it," said Valentine. "Hurtful is deep, but this went deeper."

From the spray painted pulpit, you can see 666 painted on the back wall. Two huge mirrors were shattered, each by a single blow.

"Oh, I couldn't even tell you what the cost is of the damage," said Valentine. "The mirrors, the holes in the walls..."

The pews are covered in plastic to keep down the strong smell of bleach.          

"All the pews. Every single one," said Church Deacon Marvin Osborne. "They literally poured it on each and every one of them."

Osborne says the church had been undergoing a 5-week remodel project.

"The contractor was going to come out today and put the finishing touches on the painting," said Osborne.

This was not the work of thieves, because nothing was stolen.  Not the televisions, drums, or even a computer.

"And that's why I definitely believe it was a hate crime," said Osborne.

Earlier this week, another act of hate was perpetrated not far away in the Mission District, where "white power" was painted on two culturally sensitive murals.

Bishop Valentine says he's never seen anything like what happened to his church. Some in his flock still do not know about the crime.

They're going to be very hurt, said Valentine.  They're going to be hurt, but still grateful we're still having service. 

It's unclear how many people were involved. The bishop says neighbors heard dogs barking around 3 or 4 a.m., but there's nothing firm that says that was the time of the break-in.

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