Police Arrest Chick-fil-A Graffiti Vandal

By Lauren Jow

Originally published on Advocate.com August 10 2012 3:20 PM ET

The West Hollywood artist who claimed responsibility for painting “Tastes Like Hate” on a Torrance, Calif., Chick-fil-A has been arrested, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Torrance police arrested Manny Castro, 30, on suspicion of vandalism on Wednesday in West Hollywood. Police are also looking to identify another person who may have been involved in the crime.

The graffiti was discovered early on the morning of the National Same-Sex Kiss Day on August 3 at Chick-fil-A, which was one of many nationwide protests last week in reaction to Chick-fil-A president and CEO Dan Cathy's recent antigay comments. Two days before, supporters of the restaurant chain came in droves to celebrate Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day as a response to LGBT activists and allies calling for boycotts.

The graffiti was accompanied by a painting of a cow holding a paintbrush, similar to the mascot the company uses in its ads urging patrons to “Eat Mor Chikin.”

Last week, Castro told the Huffington Post that he felt he had to make a statement against Cathy’s comments. A day before he was arrested, Castro released a statement to the Huffington Post explaining his method of protest.

“My statement painted on the side of the Chik-Fil-A in Torrance was not born out of hate. It was born out of frustration. It was meant to further a discussion about tolerance and acceptance. My Facebook wall was simply not large enough to do this,” Castro wrote in the statement. “I didn’t use violence. I used paint. Artists for centuries have expressed their opinions through this medium and I am no different.”