Authorities in Maryland say a man was arrested on suspicion of vandalizing a Chick-fil-A restaurant and the B’nai Shalom synagogue in Olney.
Eric Joseph Sponaugle faces charges related to malicious destruction of property and defacing religious property for the acts.
He was reportedly identified after surveillance footage from the targeted restaurant revealed the vandalism.
Sponaugle is accused of leaving messages including “Blood is on your hands” and “We hate gays” on signs and other surfaces at Chick-fil-A. Vandalism of the synagogue included defacing a banner to read “Israel is a fascist apartheid state.”
Without directly confessing to the acts, he told WJLA that he would “applaud” the vandal’s act for attempting to expose “horrific abuses” by the fast-food chain.
He noted that the vandalism was a “rather facile form of protest,” however, noting that he believes “their energy would be better spent on more concrete activism.”
If convicted, the suspect could spend six years behind bars and face fines totaling $11,000.