Manny Castro, the local artist who
allegedly painted “Tastes Like Hate” on the side of a Chick-Fil-A
eatery in Torrance, California, won't face criminal charges.
Castro left his message two days after
Chick-Fil-A restaurants were flooded with customers supporting CEO
Dan Cathy's comments in opposition to gay marriage.
The Los Angeles Times reported
that Castro was arrested on suspicion of vandalism but prosecutors
have declined to press charges.
“The suspect has acknowledged his
wrongdoing and offered to make restitution,” the paper
quoted the L.A. County district attorney's office. “Finally,
the record does not establish the suspect was motivated by religious
The vandalism cost the restaurant about
$700 to paint over.
The openly gay, 30-year-old Castro
stepped forward to take responsibility for the graffiti in remarks to
The Huffington Post.
“Everybody is entitled to free
speech, but it seems like for the gay tribe, this is more of an issue
of equal rights – human rights,” he said. “I'm against what
these people stand for, what this company stands for. They're trying
to take away what little rights we already have.”
“It's paint on a wall,” he
added. “It got removed in less than an hour. It's not that
much of a crime – it's a protest.”