An LGBT-themed mural in San Francisco’s Castro district has been tagged with graffiti that obscures the lower portion of the painting.
The mural, which is on the side of the Castro Republic eatery, at Market and 16th streets, shows a man carrying a large rainbow flag, followed by two women on a motorcycle with a leather flag. It appears the tagging occurred early Wednesday morning (March 8).
The graffiti reads “olevau.com.” Messages can be posted directly to the site. The Bay Area Reporter twice posted messages, accompanied by a photo of the tagged mural, requesting that someone call the paper. No one has responded, and both messages were removed. The site’s administrator’s didn’t immediately respond to an email from the B.A.R.
David Rodriguez, 29, a Castro Republic server, hadn’t yet seen the graffiti when the B.A.R. visited the restaurant Thursday. When he went outside to look, he said, “Oh my god … that is so mean.”
Juan Reynoso, 36, who sells flowers at a kiosk next to the mural, said he first noticed the vandalism Wednesday morning.
In an email exchange with the B.A.R., Sergeant Michael Andraychak, a police spokesman, said, “While the department is aware of the ‘tag,’ to our knowledge, no one has filed a police report regarding the mural.”
Police “are familiar with the tag,” Andraychak said, and someone standing by the mural Thursday said that he’d seen it before, too, although he couldn’t recall where.
In January, Hoodline reported that the tag had been seen in numerous places, including in the Haight district. In an email exchange with the news site, administrative manager Olivia Lang said, “The Founders of Olevau do not support, promote or condone Destruction & Violence within the community,” she wrote. “Period. How the users of Olevau decide to express their love for the website is beyond our control. Olevau = Creation.”
The Castro Republic’s owner couldn’t be reached for comment. Rodriguez said the Castro Republic doesn’t have surveillance cameras outside.
Metal police barricades sat in front of the mural Thursday. Someone sent the B.A.R. a photo of the mural that was taken Wednesday night. The barricades were not in the photo.
Andraychak said police would like the artist or the property owner to contact them and file a report.
The police department’s graffiti abatement officer “follows up cases involving significant damage,” Andraychak said. He said anyone with tips or other information may email Martin.Ferreira@sfgov.org.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism at Castro Republic or the suspect is asked to contact the SFPD Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. Tips may be made anonymously.