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Chick-fil-A Kiss-In: LAPD called to Hollywood store over media mob

August 3, 2012 |  1:25 pm

Chick-fil-A graffiti

Los Angeles police were called to a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Hollywood on Friday amid a national "kiss day" related to the company president's opposition to gay marriage.

Authorities said the call was prompted by a heavy media presence at the restaurant that was making it difficult for the business to operate. There were no problems related to protests.

Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said officers were sent to the restaurant in response to a call but so far no one had been arrested.

At a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Torrance where vandals painted the words "Tastes like hate" on the side of the restaurant Thursday night, the "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" was off to a slow start.

As part of the event, gay marriage advocates are encouraging same-sex couples to go to one of the chicken restaurants and take a photo or video of themselves kissing.

It remains unclear whether this protest will generate the huge crowds that turned out Wednesday in a show of support for company President Dan Cathy, who ignited a national debate by publicly expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage.

At the Torrance location, a steady parade of cars made their way into the parking lot as diners strolled in and out of the restaurant. Some held anti-gay marriage signs that read "Jesus is the only answer." Many said they were there in support of Chick-fil-A and denounced the vandalism.

"It's a civil debate, it has nothing to do with defacing someone's property," said Alfonzo Rachel, 40, a Torrance resident who said he dines at the restaurant regularly.

Cole Donahoo, operator of the Torrance restaurant, declined to comment about Friday's vandalism.

"I'm just trying to operate a business," he said.

Donahoo said he did see a great turnout at the restaurant, at 182nd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard, for Wednesday's national "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" event, championed by conservative talk show host Mike Huckabee.

Denise Spencer, who visited the restaurant on Friday, said she was sad to see the vandalism and that it hurts the tolerance message that gay marriage proponents are pushing.

"The president of the company has the right to say what he feels, just like gays and lesbians do, but when you destroy someone's property ... it only creates negativity," Spencer said.

Torrance police detectives were investigating the vandalism.

“There are no leads at this time,” said Sgt. Jennifer Uyeda. “There are security cameras outside the building and we’re trying to retrieve [video from] those right now.”

-- Richard Winton, Ruben Vives in Torrance and Rosanna Xia in Los Angeles

Photo: Workers paint over graffiti left by vandals on a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Torrance. Credit: Sandy Mazza / Daily Breeze