SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Steve-O, one
of the stars of the TV show "Jackass," could face criminal charges
after he defaced a San Diego highway sign with a green banner that
left it reading: "SeaWorld Sucks," officials said on Thursday.
In a video entitled "Breaking the Law" that was posted online
Wednesday, Steve-O is seen making several attempts over two days
to climb the sign with a rope. He finally uses a ladder and
tapes the word 'Sucks' over the word 'Drive.'
The prank follows last year's release of the documentary movie
"Blackfish," which makes a case against keeping orcas in
captivity. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc has called the documentary
"inaccurate and misleading."
"I'm putting my foot down for Shamu," Steve-O says in his video,
referring to SeaWorld's most famous orca. "If doing that is
wrong, I don't want to be right. Screw you SeaWorld."
The 40-year-old British-born actor, whose name is Stephen
Glover, encouraged supporters to share the two-minute film on
social media using the hashtag #SeaworldSucks.
SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz said the organization has no
comment on the prank, which apparently took place in May.
Last week SeaWorld said it will nearly double the size of its
San Diego killer whale tank and expand similar enclosures in
Florida and Texas amid the criticism.
The California Department of Transportation agreed with the
video's title: that Steve-O was committing a crime.
"We consider defacing public property at a cost to state taxpayers
an unlawful act and a dangerous distraction for motorists," the
department said in a statement.
It said the sign needed replacing at a cost of more than $7,000
because the adhesive used had pulled off its reflective sheeting,
and it said it was referring all information about the case to the
California Highway Patrol (CHP).
"Not figured into the equation is the danger to highway workers and
the inconvenience to motorists," it added.
CHP spokesman Jake Sanchez confirmed on Thursday the highway patrol
was passed a case of alleged vandalism for investigation and
possible prosecution in connection with the incident.
(Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh)