Muslim security guard in San Rafael says her car was vandalized with pig's feet and bacon
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. - A Muslim security guard in San Rafael says she is the victim of a hate crime after someone vandalized her vehicle with pig's feet and bacon.
"I don't think I will ever be able to use that car again," said Reshmika, who did not share her last name, fearing harassment to her family.
She has worked for Securitas Security for about six months.
Assigned to the Kaiser medical facility in San Rafael, she always parks on Montecillo Street, in front of the hospital.
On an overnight shift three weeks ago, she was shocked by what happened to her Honda Accord.
A shattered driver's side window, all four tires slashed, and the finish ruined by paint, thinner and glue.
But as a Muslim, the most jarring violation: pigs feet, blood and bacon strewn on her car seats.
"We do not eat pig products, we do not eat bacon," said Reshmika, "so it's offensive because of my religion and it's frightening this happened to me at my workplace while I was at work."
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Police responded, put a detective on the case, and are pursuing leads.
"We're looking at all aspects, including some surveillance footage," said Lt. Lisa Holton. "Her car was seriously damaged, and added to that, the chopped-up meat inside the car, it's very concerning."
Reshmika believes she was targeted after accusing her supervisor of misconduct in February.
"I'm the kind of person, if I see something wrong, I will say something," she declared.
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Reshmika says she made the complaint after hearing the man make sexually degrading remarks about a 14-year-old autistic girl who was in the Emergency Room.
"This is an internal problem with the company that has escalated into vandalism and a hate crime," said Reshmika, pointing to the pork products in her car.
But legally, it may not be that clear-cut.
"I know the victim in this case has had disputes with co-workers and that's definitely part of the investigation," said Holton.
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By definition, a hate crime must be motivated by a person's protected status.
"Whether it's religion, whether it's race, and sometimes you just don't know what's in a person's head," added Holton.
At the very least, the destruction amounts to felony vandalism.
Reshmika's car has been repaired but she remains nervous.
"I'm worried about my safety and I'm also worried about the safety of my family members who are listed in my employee file."
And as of Thursday, she is also worried about her employment.
Securitas has suspended her.
Managers say she violated company confidentiality by talking about the now-closed internal investigation.
Reshmika says they should be supporting her instead, and she does not regret disclosing conduct she found inappropriate.
"I feel like everyone is looking out for themselves, but me," said Reshmika, outside the hospital. "I am the one who stood up for this patient and I'm the one who said something."
Inquiries to the corporate offices at Securitas were not returned.