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Chick-fil-A Vandalism Suspect Arrested

Manny Castro, a Hollywood artist who claimed responsibility for a "Tastes like hate" message painted outside a Torrance Chick-fil-A, is arrested.

REDONDO BEACH, CA -- A man who publicly claimed responsibility for vandalizing a local Chick-fil-A restaurant with the words "Tastes Like Hate," in protest of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's comments against same-sex marriage, was taken into custody, police announced Thursday.

Hollywood artist Manuel "Manny" Castro, 30, was arrested about 8 p.m. Wednesday in West Hollywood and booked on suspicion of vandalism, said Torrance police Sgt. Steven Jenkinson.

Castro posted $20,000 bail and was released about three hours later, the sheriff's department reported.

  • Previously:

Jenkinson said police were also working to identify a "person of interest who may have been involved in the commission of this crime."

On Aug. 3 about 6:40 a.m., officers went to the restaurant in Torrance in the 18200 block of Hawthorne Boulevard near the Redondo Beach border on a report that the east side of the building was vandalized with the words "Tastes Like Hate" in black paint, along with a drawing of a cow holding a paint brush.

"Numerous items of evidence" were recovered near the scene, Jenkinson said.

In an interview with the Huffington Post on Friday, Castro, who is gay, took responsibility for the message.

"It's paint on a wall," he said. "It got removed in less than an hour. It's not that much of a crime—it's a protest."

A public information officer with the Torrance Police Department was unaware of the interview until Patch contacted the department Aug. 3 asking for comment. She told Patch that investigators would look into it.

"During the ongoing investigation, detectives worked to independently identify Castro as a suspect by corroborating Castro's involvement in the vandalism through the available evidence and information from their investigation," Jenkinson said.

The day before his arrest, Castro released a statement to the Huffington Post. In it, he said the message was meant to "further a discussion about tolerance and acceptance," and that he wished anti-gay vandalism would receive the same kind of media attention.

"I am happy to pay for the costs of repainting the wall, but I am not—nor will I ever be—happy to sit quietly at the back of the bus," he said.

Anyone with more information about the case is urged to call Torrance police at 310-618-5570.

—City News Service contributed to this report.

jmj August 15, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Let me ask it in another way. You seem to think that gays should have the same right to marry who they are attracted to as heterosexuals do. Why?
DavidaMBurns August 15, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Hey Jim and jmj, why don't you two agree to disagree already? Nobody will ever win this debate. Move on!!!
jmj August 15, 2012 at 07:33 AM
Because Jim made the assertion that gays are being treated as second class citizens because they are denied the right to marry. I am trying to get him to explain his position in light of the fact that laws regarding marriage are being applied equally, i.e.,gays can't marry the same sex, neither can heterosexuals, gays can marry the opposite sex, so can heterosexuals.
DavidaMBurns August 15, 2012 at 03:05 PM
jmj - It doesn't do any good to debate this issue. These people believe what they believe. They want the right to marry for financial reasons. I tell these people, if gay marriage is made into law in every state, then by God they better legalize unions where people just want to live together without that piece of paper. They used to call that common law marriage. And while they're at it, they better legalize polygamy too. I wouldn't mind having a couple of husbands myself.
Todd Rogers August 15, 2012 at 03:49 PM
You are right . He should be charged

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