Chick-fil-A vandal, a Wehoan, sentenced

November 19, 2012

The West Hollywood artist who admitted vandalizing a Torrance Chick-fil-A restaurant by painting the words "Tastes Like Hate" on it pleaded no contest last week to a misdemeanor vandalism charge and received a sentence of three years’ probation.

Manny Castro, a WeHo artist, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vandalism last week.

Manuel Castro Jr., 31, acted in protest of the company president's comments against same-sex marriage in early August.

As part of his sentence, Mr. Castro is also barred from possessing any paint, paint brushes, spray paint, aerosol cans or vandalism tools outside his home, according to Torrance Assistant City Attorney Patrick Sullivan.

In addition to those strictures, which would hit any artist hard, Mr. Castro was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, pay $400 in fines plus penalties and a $419 booking fee.

He also must stay away from all Chick-fil-A restaurants while on probation, said the prosecutor.

In exchange for his no-contest plea, the city attorney dismissed a misdemeanor charge of possession of vandalism tools.

The artist was not in court for the hearing, and the plea was entered on his behalf by his attorney.

He has yet to be held liable for restitution; that hearing takes place on Jan. 9, 2013, Mr. Sullivan said.

On August 3, in the wee hours, Mr. Castro painted the words "Tastes Like Hate" with the stenciled image of a cow holding a paint brush on an exterior wall of the Torrance fast food restaurant.

He was arrested Aug. 8 after giving a statement to an online news publication claiming responsibility for the act.