12:58 PM PDT, July 25, 2022
An Illinois man has been charged with a hate crime after allegedly vandalizing a bakery hours before it was to host a drag event, according to CNN.
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 was taken into custody soon after fleeing the scene.
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, owner of UpRising Bakery and Cafe, told CNN.
The UpRising Bakery and Café “sustained significant damage early this morning,” police said in a July 23 press release.
“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,” police said in the release.
Collins was released on Saturday night after making bond according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Division.
The incident came days after the Lake of the Hills Police department posted a press release stating the cafe has been receiving messages from citizens concerned about a drag show performance at the bakery scheduled for July 23.
“Residents expressed their concerns, citing an advertisement regarding children being allowed to attend the event,” the police department said in a July 19 news release.
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 July 19 statement said. “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.”
The bakery has reopened since the incident.
The bakery posted a statement on Facebook, writing, “hate has no home here. Love and light live here. We live here. This is our home. this is our town. this is our county. this is our fight. we’re not turning our backs or backing down now.”