SAN DIEGO — The California Highway Patrol is seeking criminal charges against Steve-O for a stunt last spring in which the performer videotaped himself defacing a freeway sign to take a swipe at SeaWorld for its alleged mistreatment of killer whales, a CHP spokesman said Thursday.
The state agency submitted the results of its investigation of the incident to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and is recommending vandalism and trespassing counts be filed against the 40-year-old “Jackass” star, whose real name is Stephen Gilchrist Glover, according to CHP public affairs Officer Jake Sanchez.
Last month, Glover posted a short clip to his YouTube page showing him clambering onto the green Caltrans sign over Interstate 5 on the afternoon of May 25 and covering the “Drive” in “Sea World Drive” with a piece of paper bearing the word “SUCKS.”
“I’m putting my foot down for Shamu,” he said on the Web posting, using the name SeaWorld uses for its performing whales. He urged viewers to share the video using the hashtag SeaWorldSucks and to wish him “luck with the law.”
When Caltrans personnel removed Glover’s placard, the tape that had been used to adhere it pulled off reflective material from the sign, Sanchez said.
Glover had made an unsuccessful attempt to scale the sign the day before the alleged vandalism took place, Sanchez said.
SeaWorld has come under increased criticism since the release of “Blackfish,” a 2013 documentary that raised allegations of mistreatment of orcas at the marine theme parks. SeaWorld officials have vehemently denied the accusations.
It was unclear how long it might take prosecutors to decide whether to file charges over the freeway-sign incident, according to Tanya Sierra, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.