Joseph I Collins: Illinois man charged with HATE CRIME for vandalizing cafe hosting 'all-ages' drag show
LAKE IN THE HILLS, ILLINOIS: In a recent case of vandalism, an Illinois man allegedly damaged a Lake in the Hills bakery and cafe that was set to host a contentious "all-ages" drag performance during brunch on Saturday, July 23. After receiving a complaint at 12:04 am, reporting vandalism at the Uprising Bakery and Cafe at 2104 W. Algonquin Road, Lake in the Hills, police say they arrested Joseph I Collins, 24, who was charged with felony hate crime and criminal damage to property. An Algonquin police sergeant saw the suspect flee on foot, authorities said. The judge set Collins' bail at $10,000 when he appeared on bond call on Saturday morning, July 23, in McHenry County Circuit Court. According to the police, the Uprising cafe suffered severe damage, including smashed windows and hateful graffiti on the structure.
The news release from the police said, "The safety and Constitutional rights of everyone are always the Lake in the Hills Police Department's priority. 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 owner of the cafe had received several threats in the days leading up to the brunch drag event and was accused of 'grooming children' as the event was open to all ages, including children. "One morning I came in and there was a bag of feces outside. There was a letter taped to the door that said pedophiles work here," Sac said, recounting some of the hate crime incidents leading up to the vandalism. Sac had to close the cafe and cancel the drag event to clean up and repair the damage caused to the store.
According to Fox News, she wished to reschedule the performance. However, she stated that before making a decision, she will first confer with village officials, her staff, and the performers. Sac told that she would not submit to bullying. "It (canceling the show) breaks our hearts," she added. Meanwhile, according to police, many on social media claimed that the bakery supported pedophilia and that drag shows were inappropriate for kids.
Police said, “Residents expressed their concerns, citing an advertisement regarding children being allowed to attend the event. Since being notified of the event, the Police Department, along with Lake in the Hills Community Development Department, contacted the business owner and have been in regular communication regarding the event. The Police Department and Community Development Department have investigated the reported concerns. 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."
Meanwhile, a political group called Awake IL published posts informing its members about the program. Sac said she had heard that the Proud Boys planned to protest at the event. A man had come into the bakery, yelled at her and employees, and spit on the bakery case — one of the many disturbing hate crimes leading up to the event — Sac added. According to the police, “We are taking measures to ensure that everyone has the right to engage in peaceful protest. However, we wish to remind everyone that under no circumstances will the Police Department tolerate disruption of this event or any activity that disrupts the peace."