TORRANCE (CNS) – Los Angeles County prosecutors declined today to file a felony case against a man who publicly claimed responsibility for vandalizing
a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Torrance with the words “Tastes Like Hate” in protest of the company president’s comments against same-sex marriage.
“… It is the conclusion of the District Attorney’s Office that this is not a matter for which felony prosecution is appropriate,” wrote John Zajec, the head prosecutor in the Torrance office. “The matter is therefore
referred to the Torrance City Attorney’s Office for consideration of possible misdemeanor prosecution.”
Della Thompson-Bell of the Torrance City Attorney’s Office said her office had not yet received the case, so a decision had not yet been made on whether to pursue any charges.
Manuel Castro Jr., 30, and an unidentified perpetrator painted the words “Tastes Like Hate” with the stenciled image of a cow holding a paint brush on an exterior wall of the new restaurant in the early morning hours of Aug. 3, according to the charge evaluation worksheet.
It cost the restaurant’s owner “approximately several hundred dollars” to have the affected portion of the wall painted over, according to the document.
“The amount of the damages appears to be relatively minor involving repainting a section of stucco wall approximately 15 feet long by 12 feet high. The suspect has acknowledged his wrongdoing and offered to make restitution. Finally, the record does not establish the suspect was motivated by religious hatred,” Zajec wrote.
Castro was arrested Aug. 8 after giving a statement to an online news publication claiming responsibility for the vandalism. He was released later that evening after posting $20,000 bail.
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