Police arrested an Alsip man for vandalizing a Lake in the Hills bakery and cafe early Saturday morning, less than 24 hours before a scheduled drag show at the business.
The vandalism has led the bakery to cancel the event.
Joseph Collins, 23, of Alsip, was charged with a hate crime and criminal damage to property, according to a complaint from the Lake in the Hills Police Department.
Along with smashing three store front windows and the glass door with a bat, Collins spray painted explicit messages, according to the complaint. Two of those messages were inflammatory toward LGBTQ+ individuals.
The damage is more than $500, but less than $10,000, the complaint states. Both charges are Class 4 felonies.
Corinna Bendel-Sac, owner of UpRising Bakery & Cafe, 2104 W Algonquin Road, said no staff was physically hurt, though they have been shaken up by the latest incident.
UpRising posted this on Facebook:
“For the safety of the performers, staff, and community we have cancelled tomorrows event and will be closed Saturday 7/23/22. At this time we ask everyone: DO NOT COME TO OUR LOCATION AT ALL TODAY.
“We did not want to back down from Bullies but absolutely cannot in good conscience continue with tomorrows plans. It breaks our hearts. we will update when we can.”
Three police vehicles patrolled the parking lot outside the bakery on Saturday. Officers were not allowing the public nearby.
Police were dispatched to the bakery a little after midnight Saturday after an Algonquin police sergeant saw the person flee on foot, according to a news release Saturday from Lake in the Hills police. The sergeant was “instrumental” in helping catch the suspect.
Collins bond was set at $10,000 and as of Saturday afternoon was still in custody, the release states.
“The police department is disheartened this happened in our village, [and] remains steadfast in our commitment to public safety and have zero tolerance against all members [of] our community,” the release states.
The damage comes after several weeks of harassment, including in-person remarks and attacks such as spitting on the display case, following the announcement of the drag show, which was promoted as an event for all ages.
The level of concern was high enough that the Lake in the Hills police had issued a statement on Tuesday, July 19, that they would be present at the drag show and would take a “zero tolerance” approach to any violence or disturbances. The police later announced they would be hosting a staging area for press during Saturday’s event.
This story will be updated when more information is available.