An investigation by Orange Coast College is seeking to find whoever vandalized campus buildings with graffiti targeting the former president of the Costa Mesa college's Republicans club.
Graffiti reading "Doxx Joshua Martinez OCC Young Republicans = Fascists" and a sticker saying "Support your local antifa" — short for anti-fascists — were found on five buildings, including the Student Success Center and bookstore.
The incident was reported at 8:25 a.m. Saturday by an OCC public safety officer who found one of the writings and later searched nearby buildings. A knife was found on the grass by the main entrance of the Forum Lecture Hall.
Surveillance video from early Saturday shows a person vandalizing buildings and carrying a skateboard, according to an OCC report.
Joshua Recalde-Martinez, former president of the Orange Coast College Republicans, said Wednesday that he was notified of the incident Monday by the dean of student services. Later that day, Recalde-Martinez said, he contacted Costa Mesa police and was notified that a police report hadn't been filed by the Campus Public Safety Department, so he filed a police report online.
The following day, Recalde-Martinez said, he asked to see video footage of the incident but wasn't given access.
He said he hired a private investigator to look into the case because he believed the campus had done an inadequate job.
College spokesman Juan Gutierrez said Wednesday that the investigation is continuing with assistance from the Costa Mesa Police Department.
Gutierrez said the incident was handled as efficiently as possible, even with a smaller crew on the weekend.
"The safety of the faculty and staff is our biggest focus, and we don't condone the destruction of property," Gutierrez said. "We're always striving to have a safe learning environment."
Recalde-Martinez said he met Wednesday morning with OCC President Dennis Harkins, Vice President of Administrative Services Rich Pagel and Dean of Students Derek Vergara to discuss the matter.
"I'm pleased the school is taking the situation seriously, and they've told me they're continuing to look into the matter," Recalde-Martinez said.
Recalde-Martinez was part of a nationwide controversy after the OCC Republicans posted a video on the club's Facebook page in December showing professor Olga Perez Stable Cox referring to now-President Trump as a "white supremacist" and calling his election victory "an act of terrorism." The video, secretly recorded in class by student Caleb O'Neil, led to demonstrations at OCC for and against the instructor.
O'Neil was told in February that he would be suspended, but the suspension was lifted two weeks later.
Vega writes for Times Community News