Alderman Raymond Lopez says bricks thrown through windows of his Brighton Park home

ByDiane Pathieu, Sarah Schulte, and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, July 10, 2020
Alderman Raymond Lopez says 15th Ward home on Chicago's Southwest Side vandalized by bricks
Alderman Raymond Lopez says his home was vandalized overnight and a neighbor's garage was set on fire.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago alderman says vandals threw bricks into his Brighton Park home and set his neighbor's garage on fire Thursday.

Alderman Raymond Lopez, of the 15th Ward, said he was targeted by gangs overnight. The incidents were all captured on his security cameras.

"This is an example of what happens daily in the city of Chicago," Ald. Lopez said. "If I let that stop me or let fear overwhelm me, then what chance do our residents have?"

Chicago police said a brick was thrown through the window of the home in the 4000-block of South Artesian Avenue and then about an hour later, the garage of the home next door was set on fire.

Alderman Raymond Lopez speaks after he said his home was vandalized and a neighbor's garage set on fire Thursday morning.

Security video shows someone walk by the alderman's house several times. The alleged suspect then grabs a brick from the neighbor's yard and walks up the front steps.

He throws the brick into a side window breaking the glass. He goes down the steps, grabs another brick, and throws it into the front window again shattering glass. In total, he threw five bricks at the home.

"The description of the person on my security camera showed up with another individual in an alley behind me attempting to set fire to what they believe was my garage," Lopez said.

The alleged suspect was not done. He went into the alley less than an hour later and then flames shot up from the garage of Lopez's neighbor. His husband quickly grabbed a hose and worked to put out the fire. Lopez said there was a noticeable smell of accelerant from the fire.

There were five people inside the Lopez home. While no one was injured, Lopez believes the vandalism is in retaliation for his attempt this week to go after landlords who rent to known gang members.

"This is what my residents deal with on a daily basis," Lopez said. "This grip that gangs have on communities holding them hostage through fear."

Jasmine Scott dealt with the fear a couple of weeks ago.

She and her family are living in a motel after her car was set on fire, a Molotov cocktail thrown through her window and a bullet hole left on the front door.

"This isn't OK for me to deal with," Scott said. "It isn't OK for anyone to wake up in the morning to see something they worked for destroyed and burnt to the ground."

Scott is demanding more help from police and Lopez.

While Lopez isn't backing down, he said there is just so much he and police can do. Lopez said courts must do their parts as well.

"I'm certain when we catch who did this today, they will also have records that are very extensive and have been forgiven by the state's attorney's office," he said.

While police are looking for more videotape evidence, no arrests have been made.