An Alsip man has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he committed a hate crime by vandalizing UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills on the day the cafe was set to host a drag show.
Joseph I. Collins, 24, of the 11700 block of South Ridgeway Avenue in Alsip, was indicted Thursday by a grand jury on charges of hate crime, two counts of criminal damage to property and criminal defacement.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment hearing Thursday and requested a jury trial, court records show.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred early in the morning on July 23 at UpRising Bakery and Cafe, 2104 West Algonquin Road in Lake in the Hills.
Officers were notified of a criminal damage to property in progress, according to Lake in the Hills Police Department Communications Coordinator Rachael Ruiz.
An Algonquin police sergeant had spotted Collins leave the scene and was “instrumental in this incident,” Ruiz said.
Lake in the Hills officers, along with the Algonquin police sergeant, took Collins into custody.
UpRising Bakery and Cafe sustained significant damage, Ruiz said.
Officers found broken windows, a broken door and hateful messages spray painted on the exterior wall of the building.
Collins was later transported to the McHenry County Jail and appeared for a bond hearing.
A McHenry County judge set the man’s bond at $10,000. He was released after posting $1,000.
UpRising Bakery and Cafe had planned to host a drag show later that day.
The business reported receiving in-person and online threats after they announced they were hosting the drag show where children were welcome to attend.
After the vandalism, the owner of the business said she received a letter following a meeting with the Village of Lake in the Hills.
The letter ordered UpRising to stop hosting entertainment events, saying that the business was not zoned for them.
The village said they would pursue “appropriate enforcement actions” if the business continued hosting events.
The village and the business eventually reached an agreement and the drag show was rescheduled. It took place earlier this month.