ENCINITAS — Jassyn Verdult said she was attending the Encinitas Street Fair the afternoon of Nov. 19 and parked her car in what she thought was a parking space in front of the gated entrance of Pacific View Elementary.
When she returned to her car, she had received a ticket for parking in a no-parking zone, but that, she said, was the least of her worries.
Using a black permanent marker, someone scrawled the words “No Parking You Idiot” on her front and rear windshields and her passenger windows.
She said two other vehicles were also vandalized in the same manner.
To add insult to injury, she said, she was rudely mocked by representatives of the Encinitas Historical Society — who maintain the historic schoolhouse on the Pacific View grounds — when she complained about the vandalism.
She believes someone from the group was the culprit of the vandalism.
“The timing isn’t a coincidence,” Verdult said. “They were the only ones there, and the cars were parked in front of the gate that only they were using. Who else had the motive?
“They were extremely rude to me and two other girls, saying things like, ‘You couldn’t read a sign.’” Verdult said. “It was another level of rude.”
Encinitas Historical Society President Carolyn Cope, who laughed off the incident, flatly denied that she or anyone from the group was involved with the vandalism or the rude behavior.
“All I did was call the (Sheriff’s Department) nonemergency line and told them that we had a senior docent in the schoolhouse by himself and that there were multiple cars blocking our only entrance and exit to the property,” Cope said. “If I was that way, I would turn around and hire an attorney for defamation of character.
“I put my hand on the bible that this had nothing to do with the Encinitas Historical Society, and that is a fact. How dare someone accuse us?” she said.
Verdult said that two girls whose cars were ticketed and towed were told that the “president of the Historical Society” called to have their cars towed. Verdult said that she took pictures of the woman whom she said verbally abused her when she asked about the writing on her windows and compared that to a YouTube video featuring Cope.
“It was the same woman who was rude to us,” she said. “She laughed at us when we asked about the vandalism and told me, ‘Good luck with your forensics.’”
Cope said that Verdult and others are complaining about the writing on the vehicles to deflect attention away from the fact they were illegally parked.
“They’re just the type of people who won’t admit guilt, and everything is someone else’s fault,” Cope said.
The Historical Society is one of two groups that has access to the property aside from the city of Encinitas, which purchased the property from the Encinitas Union School District in 2014. The other is the Encinitas Arts Culture and Ecology Alliance, the group chosen by the city to transform the site into a cultural arts complex.
Alliance board President John DeWald said that to his knowledge no Alliance members were on the property on that day.
Verdult said she has filed a police report. San Diego Sheriff’s Capt. John Maryon said that they are investigating the incident, which he called a “criminal act.”
Maryon said that said that there are video surveillance cameras around the Pacific View Elementary School property and that they would be reviewing the footage to see if it helps identify the culprits.
Maryon urged the public to contact the Sheriff’s Department when they see vehicles illegally parked repeatedly, rather than taking matters into their own hands.
“Not just because it’s a criminal act, but why would you vandalize property?” Maryon said. “I think people are afraid of burdening us and they think that something like illegally parked cars is small and petty, but that is what we are here for. When you have an issue, before things build up and you lash out, just call us.”