Chick-fil-A Vandal Will Not Face Criminal Charges

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com August 30 2012 12:48 PM ET

A gay artist who admitted to painting the words "Tastes Like Hate" on the side of a Torrance, Calif., Chick-fil-A restaurant will not face criminal charges, said the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The suspect has acknowledged his wrongdoing and offered to make restitution," prosecutors announced Wednesday. "Finally, the record does not establish the suspect was motivated by religious hatred."

Manny Castro, 30, a West Hollywood artist, was arrested August 10 on suspicion of vandalizing the Southern California Chick-fil-A location on August 3. The graffiti included a painting of a cow holding a paintbrush, similar to the advertising campaign the company has long used, urging patrons to "Eat Mor Chikin."

Castro promised to pay the estimated $700 required to repaint the vandalized wall, but told the The Huffington Post he felt compelled to use the paint to make a statement against COO Dan Cathy's opposition to marriage equality

The graffiti appeared amid the media firestorm surrounding Cathy's comments, which saw former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee call for a Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day on August 1 supporting the company and LGBT activists hold a National Same Sex Kiss Day protesting Cathy's comments and the $5 million in donations Chick-fil-A has given to antigay and certified hate groups.