The gay athletic director of Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School was targeted with two vandalism incidents that police in two local cities investigated as hate crimes.
On the morning of April 26, Mission Prep athletic director Bailey Brown went outside her home in Pismo Beach to discover her car spray-painted, her tires slashed and the vehicle’s body scratched throughout, according to Pismo Beach Police Department Lt. Steve Weir.
The graffitied message of “We (heart) r Role Models” was scrawled on Brown’s car, Weir said. Police estimated the total damage to be about $3,000.
Then on May 24, property was also vandalized on the campus of Mission Prep and a note was left under a rock with a direct reference to the sexual orientation of the athletic director, said Lt. Jeff Smith of San Luis Obispo police.
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Smith wouldn’t go into detail about the vandalism that occurred at the San Luis Obispo school.
But a friend of Brown’s with knowledge of the incident, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity to protect her relationship with Brown, told The Tribune that the spray-painted message on a Mission Prep wall read, “Mission hires an abomination.” She added the note under the rock alluded to Brown’s car, saying, “Your car is the bomb,” in addition to a reference to the athletic director being a “lez.”
Both the Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo police departments continue to look for leads. Authorities are still searching for suspects.
“We consider any type of hate crime a serious crime,” Smith said.
But the departments also acknowledged that their investigations have stalled.
Police canvassed the Pismo Beach neighborhood after the first incident, but nobody reported seeing anyone commit the vandalism.
Pismo Beach police searched for fingerprints on Brown’s vehicle. But that April morning was foggy, which prevented the chance of collecting any evidence, Weir said.
Brown declined to comment when contacted by The Tribune. However, the representative for Mission Prep, deacon Warren Hoy, who represents the Diocese of Monterey, said that the school has cooperated fully with police.
Hoy said Mission Prep has opened its campus to police interviews. The school also hired a temporary security guard at the end of last year.
Brown has followed precautions that police have recommended that she take to protect her safety, Hoy said.
Hoy said he hoped the person or people who committed the acts of vandalism would come forward so the school could have an open dialogue about it.
“We don’t know who this is or why they’re angry,” Hoy said. “We have had no real outreach.”
Hoy said Mission Prep doesn’t ask job applicants about their sexual orientation and said “everybody has a right to work and care for their family; that’s our foundation.”
Hoy said the school has fully supported Brown, who was hired from a pool of more than 100 applicants in 2011.
“Both the faculty and students like Bailey Brown a lot,” Hoy said. “She’s back to school this year. Everybody still wants her to be there.”
Police say they aren’t certain exactly when the Pismo Beach car vandalism occurred. But they believe it took place sometime between 10 p.m. April 25 and 8:45 a.m. April 26.
San Luis Obispo police also believe the crime at the campus took place overnight, resulting in its discovery the morning of May 24.
Authorities ask anyone with knowledge of the crimes to come forward to share information with the San Luis Obispo or Pismo Beach police departments. Anyone with information may make an anonymous tip by calling 549-7867.