Illinois bakery nixes ‘child-friendly’ drag show after being vandalized; suspect charged with hate crime

An Illinois bakery that drew intense criticism over a planned drag show that parents were encouraged to bring their children to has called off the event after the location was vandalized, citing safety concerns over what is being described as a hate crime.

The UpRising Bakery and Cafe in the village of Lake in the Hills which is about an hour northwest of Chicago was inundated with complaints and threats of vandalism over the “Starry Night Drag Brunch” that had been scheduled for Saturday but after windows were broken and derogatory messages were spray-painted on the building leading to the cancelation of the sold-out show.

The messages on the building included “Groomers,” “F**s rape kids,” and “Christ is king,” according to Fox News which reported on images posted to social media.

Police arrested a suspect who fled on foot after officers responded to a call about a crime in process early Saturday morning, taking 24-year-old Joseph Collins of Alsip, Illinois into custody. He was charged with a hate crime and criminal damage to property, both are a Class 4 felonies.

(Video: YouTube/ABC7 Chicago)

According to a news release from the Lake in the Hills Police Department, “”An Algonquin police sergeant had seen the suspect leave the scene and was instrumental in this incident,” the sergeant along with Lake in the Hills police officers then arrested Collins who was taken to the McHenry County Correctional Facility for his bond hearing.

“The UpRising Bakery and Café “sustained significant damage early this morning,” the police statement said. “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.”

The bakery posted notice of the canceled drag show on Facebook with an announcement that the location would be closed on Saturday.

“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,” the bakery said.

(Image: Screengrab/Facebook)

The bakery’s owner Corinna Sac told NBC Chicago that she has been hosting a variety of special events since it opened last year and that rising inflation has made such events more important for the business.

(Image: Screengrab/Facebook)

“This is a family-friendly environment, and when we opened I vowed to always make it family-friendly,” she said. “The intent was to take a fun event like a drag show and make it family-friendly,” adding that prices were lower for the children because they don’t consume as much food but she was shocked at the negative reaction.

According to NBC Chicago, “Sac said someone walked into the bakery and spit on the cafe’s display case, another person left a bag of feces outside the shop door and someone posted a letter on the business that read ‘pedophiles work here.’ She even had someone report her to the Department of Children and Family Services, she said.”

“I was scared this was going to ruin the business me and my husband have put everything into,” Sac said. “This business, this is my everything besides my children.”

“We’ve had a lot of customers say that they will never purchase from us again,” Sac told WGN-TV. “We had one gentleman come in and spit on the front of our bakery case.”

On Sunday morning, the bakery announced that it has reopened for business, “The clouds of This storm Are clearing this morning and we will reopen today with limited services and staff. 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. Zero tolerance for f**kery today and everyday.”

(Image: Screengrab/Facebook)

“We are appalled by the senseless hate crime,” Lake in the Hills Village President Ray Bogdanowski said in a statement. “The fact that the suspect had come to our Village from a town 60 miles away is also disturbing.”

The bakery plans to host another drag show in early August only with added security.

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