Steve-O under criminal investigation for SeaWorld protest
Steve-O of MTV's Jackass is up to his usual hijinx, but this time he's getting into trouble for a cause he believes in.
The prankster may be facing criminal charges for giving a face-lift to a public sign off the 5 Freeway in San Diego, according to TMZ. Steve-O scaled the massive sign along the roadway in protest of a controversial amusement park by changing the wording from "Sea World Drive" to "Sea World Sucks."
Steve-O is now under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, and sources tell TMZ that the case will most likely be turned over to prosecutors who will charge him with defacing public property.
Though charges may be imminent, Steve-O does not seem to be backing down or hiding from his actions and is quite aware that he was committing a crime while taking a stand against SeaWorld. He recorded himself performing the sign change and uploaded the video to YouTube, in addition to posting a picture and a clip on Instagram.
The social media still shows Steve-O standing proudly next to his final product with the caption: "Have you seen the video of me pulling off this awesome crime? It's on http://youtube.com/steveo but maybe not for long, check it out quick! #SeaWorldSucks #yeahdude #steveo."
He also posted a short clip from the extended YouTube version on his Instagram with the caption, "I filmed myself committing a crime in the middle of California's 5 Freeway. It took me 5 tries to finish the job-- here's one of them."
Steve-O, who was admittedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol during most of the filming for the Jackass franchise, has famously cleaned up in recent years and become a vegan. He has also turned into an animal rights activist of sorts and has joined an army of people who are fighting for the welfare of sea mammals that have been allegedly abused for years by SeaWorld. The park came under fire after the 2013 release of the documentary Blackfish, which exposed the mistreatment and disregard for the safety of both the animals present and the people who train them.
Last December, a handful of prebooked musical acts including Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Barenaked Ladies, Heart and Cheap Trick all cancelled their performances at a SeaWorld event, citing Blackfish as their reason for scrapping their shows. In 2010, rocker Tommy Lee also called out SeaWorld's questionable practices regarding the safety of their trainers and the method used to collect semen from the park's killer whales.