Hammer-wielding man shouting homophobic slurs smashes Rogers Park bar's glass door: Chicago police

"It was very loud. It's tempered glass and people ran thinking... it was gunshots."

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Man shouting homophobic slurs smashes Chicago bar door: police
R Public House's owners say a man shouting homophobic slurs smashed the bar's front door with a hammer.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A hammer-wielding man broke the front door of a bar on Chicago's North Side Monday night after shouting homophobic slurs, according to Chicago police.

The owner of R Public House, located in the 1500-block of W. Jarvis in Rogers Park, said Tuesday she was overwhelmed by support and staying steadfast in her mission.

"We're going to keep on doing what we've been doing," Renee Labrana said. "We're still gonna be welcoming of everyone and that will never change."

Surveillance shows part of the incident that happened Monday night: a man pounding on the front door of R Public House.

The owner and her wife Sandra Carter say staffers said the incident started around 5:40 p.m. when the man followed patrons into the restaurant yelling homophobic slurs.

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"He walked in, started calling them some like anti-gay slurs, and they were like, 'just leave, man - just get out of here,' and then he took out a hammer and started bashing everything," Corey Rolon said.

R Public House tweeted, "Nothing like a homophobic guy with a hammer yelling anti-gay slurs at customers and threatening them to shake up the night. (What) is wrong with people #hatehasnohomehere."

When he was asked to leave, they say he came back with a hammer to break the front pane of the double-paned glass front door.

"Our bartender said he was hitting the hammer on the door," Carter said. "It was very loud. It's tempered glass and people ran thinking, they couldn't tell the difference you know, thinking it was gunshots."

"They thought it was actually gunshots and ran to the back," Labrana added.

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Reverend Bob Niehaus lives near the Rogers Park business and is Associate Pastor of aChurch4me, which has Sunday worship at the Center on Halsted.

"It speaks to our culture these days and that's kinda sad," Niehous said. "He clearly has hate in his heart. And we as a community, as a faith community, pray for him and the rest of our community and our world and we need to lead by example."

"It hits you in the pit of your stomach. It really does," Labrana said. "And these things shouldn't matter. Love is love."

CPD said there were no injuries reported, and so far no one is in custody.