Vandals Deface Gilroy Basketball Team’s Bus

Hollister
– The Gilroy High School girls basketball team got an unpleasant
surprise Tuesday night after narrowly defeating the San Benito
Haybalers.
Hollister – The Gilroy High School girls basketball team got an unpleasant surprise Tuesday night after narrowly defeating the San Benito Haybalers.

The Mustangs found their bus covered with profane graffiti and gang symbols after the game. When Hollister police officers arrived at Prune Street, where the bus was parked, to inspect the nearly $400 in damage, a car drove past, pelting the bus with several eggs, said Hollister Police Department Spokeswoman Rosie Betanio.

“It’s unfortunate it had to happen,” Gilroy High Athletic Director Jack Daley said. “It’s obviously not what Hollister teaches its athletes and students. I talked with their AD (Tod Thatcher). I know it’s not what they teach. We have a friendly rivalry. Unfortunately, sometimes it spills into something that is not so friendly.”

The bus was not vandalized while at San Benito High School, but while it was parked at the bus driver’s Hollister home on Prune Street, said Haybaler Coach Al Rowe, who believes the vandalism was unrelated to the sporting event.

“I don’t think this was poor sportsmanship; it was just a Gilroy bus parked in Hollister,” he said.

The graffiti, which contained expletives and insults directed at Gilroy, was etched on the bus in red permanent marker and covered one entire side of the vehicle. Betanio said police do not have any suspects in the vandalism.

“This was probably done as a prank by juveniles, given the rivalry between the two teams,” Betanio said Wednesday. “But there is a possibility that it was gang-related.”

Police believe the vandalism was done while the two teams battled on the court. Unless someone comes forward with information about the crime, Betanio said police will conclude their investigation into the vandalism Wednesday.

Gilroy Unified School District Transportation Supervisor Darren Salo told the Free Lance the bus had been cleaned Wednesday morning.

“We already removed all the graffiti this morning,” he said. “It was pretty bad, and the team was upset.”

Salo said vandalism to school buses was uncommon.

“Usually school buses are taboo; everybody loves school buses,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time we had a bus vandalized.”

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