Manny Castro, the Hollywood artist who is claiming responsibility for painting a protest message on the side of a Torrance Chick-fil-A last week, appears to have a fairly naive view of crime and punishment. Huffington Post took a statement from Castro, who at least as of yesterday, was still free amidst an ongoing police probe. The self-promoting artist, who probably set a record for how quickly he claimed credit for committing an illegal deed, tells the blog, "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."
It's hard to challenge the integrity of that statement, even if the intentions with which Castro so easily claimed credit for a high-profile, illegal act still sound a little suspect.
But avoiding jail time simply by offering to pay to repaint the wall? Clearly, the guy hasn't gotten a taste yet for how police respond to such a test on their authority. HuffPo reports if the cost of the damage is above $400, Castro could face a year in the pokey and a $10,000 fine. Sadly, we're not sure the artist has seen the mark-up on a bucket of paint and some rollers when it comes to cleaning up graffiti in this town.
Last they spoke on the subject, Torrance police say they're still following up on Castro's involvement in the activist vandalism. If they don't soon come gunning for him, the artists' fate may just lie in the hands of this South Bay Chick-fil-A and their propensity to prosecute or not. Will the chicken chain embrace their proud Christian principles on this issue and turn the other cheek? Or will Castro live to regret pulling the mask off of his midnight marauding? Stay tuned.