Vandals scribbled satanic symbols in the rooms of a Huntington Beach elementary school they wrecked over the weekend, marking the second time this year that vandals have left behind satanic messages after a rampage at the school, police said Wednesday.
In last weekend's incident, which was discovered by a janitor, vandals drew pentagrams--circled five-point stars that represent devil worship--and wrote natas , Satan spelled backwards, throughout classrooms at Mesa View School, Huntington Beach Police Sgt. Jim Dahl said.
Similar symbols were scrawled at the school in the spring, when vandals set fire to the boys' locker room. In that incident, however, the satanic graffiti was less pronounced, police said.
In May, at nearby Golden View School, 15 rabbits and five chickens at the school's petting zoo were apparently tortured and beaten to death with chains, police said. But that incident had no satanic overtones, they added.
Dahl said few leads have surfaced in the weekend incident, noting: "We've got some things we are working with . . . just information we are piecing together. What we do have is slim."
Police also said they have not determined if all the crimes were committed by the same people.
"We've had vandalisms (at Mesa View) before, but we don't know if this is the same group of kids," Dahl said.
In the prior Mesa View incident, a fire caused $3,000 in damage to the locker room, according to Monte McMurray, assistant superintendent of business services for the Ocean View School District.
"There were a lot of satanic symbols on desks, walls and floors," Dahl said, adding that " Natas was written all over."
Last weekend, he said, at least three classrooms, an office and the school's library were damaged in what apparently were two separate forced entries.
"Books were strewn about, they poured glue into a piano," Dahl said of the damage, which totaled $11,500, including about $4,000 in stolen computer equipment, officials said.
At the school's wood shop, vises were thrown against walls and saws were broken. Clocks were pulled from classroom and library walls. The vandals also broke ceiling tiles and glass, Dahl said.
Lupe Green, an Orange County Department of Education official who gathers data on vandalism, said Wednesday that she could not determine if any other county school had been the target of similar acts.
McMurray added that he doesn't know why Mesa View School was vandalized.
"It's a supportive neighborhood," he said. "It's just not typical for that neighborhood."