CHICAGO — Police are searching for a man who went on a destructive homophobic rampage at a bar in the city’s Rogers Park neighborhood on MLK Day.
The incident happened around 5:40 p.m. Monday at R Public House on the 1500 block of West Jarvis.
Police said a man approached another man and a woman as they were exiting their vehicle, and began yelling homophobic slurs and threatening the victims — before walking away.
The pair then walked into R Public House, at which time the man returned and broke out a window of the bar with a hammer.
No one was injured. No one is in custody.
Renee Labrana, the owner of R Public House, shared her frustration with the incident which she described as pure hate towards an area that has been a safe haven for many, especially in the LGBTQ community.
“You move into that anger mode and it’s just frustration,” she said. “Rogers Park is such a wonderful area that’s so diverse, and we forget that things can happen here.”
Illinois Rep. Kelly Cassidy took to Twitter to comment about the incident, saying, “In one of the most diverse and queer positive neighborhoods in the state no less. Sending love to the crew and customers who were in our neighborhood safe space tonight when that peace was shattered.”
Labrana asked anyone interested in donating for a new window to instead donate to the local food pantry, Just Harvest. She adds that she will not let the incident put a stop to their work, opting instead to push forward.
“If anything, it makes you want to continue even more so,” Labrana said. “Especially with the outpouring we’ve had from customers and friends.”