By Steven Tavares

A racist and potentially politically-themed piece of graffiti was found two weeks ago in the Heron Bay neighborhood of San Leandro, according to the police department. There is no suspect in the case, they say.

Morning walkers passing by a building owned the East Bay Municipal Utilities District noticed the scrawlings that comment San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos was to blame for the modest influx of Asian-Americans to the city. The graffiti uses a derogatory term commonly referring to Asians along with claims Santos is driving away businesses from the city.

San Leandro Police Chief Ian Willis says a “gang-type reference” is included in the defacement, although, he says the department is not familiar with the group. One lead in the investigation, according to Willis, involves a letter printed in the San Leandro Times praising Santos for his work with the local Asian community, followed by a far less flattering portrayal the next week in opposition.

Police increased their patrols around Santos’ home in the days following the report, Santos said, although no direct threat was made towards him. Neither Willis or Santos dispute the possibility the messages in Heron Bay could be related to the increasing vitriol within the final stretches of the fall campaign season.