CNN reports that an Illinois man was charged with hate crime for allegedly vandalizing the bakery hours before it was scheduled to host a drag show.
According to a news release by the Lake in the Hills Police Department, officers were dispatched shortly after midnight on July 23 responding to a notification of criminal damage to the bakery’s property that was in progress. The man fled the scene and was soon taken into custody.
The 24-year-old man, identified as Joseph I. Collins of Alsip, Illinois, was charged with two felony counts of a hate crime and criminal damage to property in connection to the damage done to UpRising Bakery and Cafe located in Lake of the Hills, around 60 miles away from Collins’s residence, according to a report by the McHenry County Sherriff’s Office, Correctional Division and CNN.
“When I first saw it, I just started crying. That was my reaction. I just started crying. I was scared, I was hurt, I was angry, I was disgusted, and I was a little bit worried that my employees might have been here or seen it as well, so I contacted them, and they, fortunately, had gone home already.”Corinna Sac is the owner of UpRising Bakery and Cafe.
The UpRising Bakery and Café “sustained significant damage early this morning,”Police stated this in a press release dated July 23, 2003.
“Officers found broken windows along with hateful messages spray-painted on the building. Due to this act, the event planned for this evening has been canceled per the wishes of the bakery owner.”
Collins’s bond was set at $10,000, with the ability to post 10% of that amount according to the police press release.
“The Police Department is disheartened this happened in our village, remain steadfast in our commitment to public safety and have zero tolerance to crimes against all members (of) our community,”The release contained statements from police.
Collins was released Saturday night, after posting bond according to McHenry Sheriff’s Office Correctional Section.
The incident happened days after the Lake of the Hills Police posted a press statement stating that the cafe was receiving complaints from residents about a dragshow performance scheduled for July 23, according to the department.
“Residents expressed their concerns, citing an advertisement regarding children being allowed to attend the event,”According to a news release, the police department released this information on July 19.
Police said that the department, along with the community’s development department, contacted the bakery’s owner and have been in regular communication about the event.
“The Police Department and Community Development Department have investigated the reported concerns,”The statement was made on July 19. “Subsequently, no violations of the Village of Lake in the Hills Municipal code were found, and no nudity or sexually explicit content is reported to be part of the scheduled performance.”
“We are taking measures to ensure that everyone has the right to engage in peaceful protest,”Police said. “However, we wish to remind everyone that under no circumstances will the Police Department tolerate a disruption of this event or any activity that disrupts the peace.”
Since the incident, it has been reopened.
The bakery posted a statement on Facebook, writing, “hate has no home here. Here, love and light are alive. We live here. This is where we call home. This is our hometown. This is our county. This is our fight. we’re not turning our backs or backing down now.”