Homeowner says man racially profiled him after threatening him, calling the cops

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CHICAGO — A homeowner in the North Center neighborhood said a man racially profiled him when he threatened him and called the cops while he was in the alley of his home.

Rom, who did not want WGN to use his last name, said a few weeks ago, he was in the alley of his home near Western Avenue and Irving Park Road taking care of an issue with his window well. He said a man in a white pickup truck drove by, saw him and slowed down. Rom said the man then left and came back around. He said he was watching him for about three minutes.

"It was strange," he said. "I didn't know what the guy was up to."

Rom said the men then started asking him what he was doing there. Rom told him that he lived there.

"I was like, 'This is my house. I live here. Do you have a problem?'" he said.

Rom said the man didn't believe him and asked him what he was doing there. The man, evidently thinking Rom was trying to break in told him to prove he lived at the home.

Rom, who has lived there for three years, said he didn't have to prove himself. He said the men threatened to beat him up and called 911.

"He whispered, 'I'm going to beat you up or the cops will do it,'" he said.

Rom's wife eventually came home and had a brief encounter with the man as well.

Police responded to the call and sent the man on his way. The man lived several streets away.

Rom said he saw the hate in the man's eyes and said he was being racially profiled.

Rom's security cameras picked up an image of the man, but because he has not been charged, WGN is not showing his face.

Rom has filed a complaint with the Chicago Department of Human Relations, and local aldermen also met with him to discuss the situation.

Ald. Matt Martin (47th Ward) applauded Rom and his family for speaking up.

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