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The Associated Press
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Chick-fil-A restaurant founder S. Truett Cathy has decided two girls accused of causing $30,000 in damage to his home should be punished with a writing assignment, instead of charges.
In a deal Cathy worked out with their parents, the girls must write "I will not vandalize other people's property" 1,000 times. They're also banned from watching TV and playing video games, and must read a good book.
New Smyrna Beach police told the Daytona Beach News-Journal the preteens broke into Cathy's home two weeks ago and sprayed fire extinguishers, threw eggs and left water running in the kitchen.
The 87-year-old Cathy -- who founded the fast food chain known for its cow billboards -- said he didn't want to prosecute the girls and leave them with a criminal record.
"I tried to be lenient with them, but wanted to punish them," Cathy told the newspaper. "I wanted to show them there was a better way than the way they were going."
What seemed to bother Cathy, who lives on Atlanta's Southside, most about the crime were the "bad words" scrawled throughout the residence, dubbed the Chick-fil-A lodge.
"That upset me," he told the News-Journal. "I will not repeat them, but they had something to do with sex."
The elementary schoolers told a police investigator they were bored when they committed the crime sometime between July 11 and 15.