A 20-year-old former Burlingame High School student was arraigned Tuesday in Superior Court in South San Francisco on a felony vandalism charge that prosecutors have classified as a hate crime.
Burlingame police arrested Logan A. Stone on Oct. 17 following an investigation into anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic graffiti found outside Burlingame High School the morning of Sept. 5. The Anti-Defamation League provided assistance in the investigation, police said.
Stone, appearing before San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Lee, pleaded not guilty. His private attorney, Scot T. Neudorff, said his client denies “any and all allegations” against him.
Burlingame Police Lt. Laura Terada described the graffiti, discovered on the morning of back-to-school night, as “all over the board” with anti-gay, “anti-black” and anti-Semitic words and symbols. A photo taken by a student and published in the Burlingame B student newspaper shows a school employee scrubbing a black swastika off of a school banner.
On Sept. 10, students held a “Unity Against Hate” day, wearing school colors and decorating banners that said “We are stronger than hate” and “Panther strong.” The banners were hung up in school hallways.
“Not only did it suck as a student to hear” about the incident, student council president Lucas Gilmour said, “but as people who are in leadership positions, it sucks the most for us. We pride ourselves on being such an inclusive school.”
Prosecutors last week charged Stone with felony vandalism for damage greater than $400, with an enhancement for a hate crime, which is a criminal act committed because of “actual or perceived characteristics” such as race, religion or sexual orientation. A hate crime enhancement can add from one to three additional years in state prison, per California law, according to the judge’s discretion.
Stone also faces a misdemeanor charge for property destruction.
Stone appeared at the arraignment Tuesday to formally hear the charges and enter his plea, neatly dressed in a navy blue suit, a tattoo poking out of his right sleeve. He was accompanied in the courtroom by his mother and stepfather.
Court records show Stone posted $10,000 bail on Oct. 17, the day of his arrest.
At the arraignment, a county prosecutor argued that bail should be increased considering the charges.
“The facts are concerning to the people, your honor,” the prosecutor said. “It was vandalism of a high school and an alleged hate crime. There were racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic phrases and messages.”
Neudorff argued that his client poses no flight risk. He said Stone has no prior felony charges, is “gainfully employed” and attends classes at San Francisco State University.
Judge Lee denied the prosecutor’s request. But she approved a protective order, agreed upon by both parties, to block Stone from being within 100 yards of Burlingame High School. Stone said he understood the terms of the order.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2020.