Broken windows, graffiti among vandalism reported in Arlington Heights
While remaining untouched by looting, a dozen Arlington Heights businesses sustained broken windows over the weekend, authorities said Monday.
The property damage came amid other reported acts of vandalism across town, including racist graffiti tagged on tunnels and sidewalks, according to Police Chief Nick Pecora.
The broken windows were primarily at businesses on major thoroughfares, such as Arlington Dog House, 213 S. Arlington Heights Road. Owners of the dog day care and boarding business said on Facebook everyone is safe, and they're continuing to operate with normal business hours.
At the abandoned Plass Appliance & Furniture at Northwest Highway and Kennicott Avenue, one window was damaged overnight on Friday and another on Saturday, Pecora said. That led the property manager to board up all the windows, he said.
Pecora suspects the windows were damaged by people in moving vehicles because of the proximity to roadways.
"There was no theme. No one was singled out," Pecora said. "It was strictly random businesses."
He added that police started collecting reports of broken windows 10 days ago -- before George Floyd's death in Minnesota -- but that reports "spiked" on Friday.
As reported over the weekend, racist graffiti found in a pedestrian underpass near Northwest Highway, East Kensington Road and North Douglas Avenue drew quick condemnation Sunday from Mayor Tom Hayes and other village officials. The graffiti depicted a swastika, the letters "KKK" and another racial message.
After public works crews used a power washer to remove the spray paint, new graffiti was applied in the same spot, but this time with messages including "Black Lives Matter," Pecora said.
That graffiti was subsequently removed, he added.
Elsewhere throughout town, white supremacist graffiti was reported along the path at Lake Arlington over the weekend. It was removed by the Arlington Heights Park District, Pecora said.
Pecora released a statement on the village's social media channels on Sunday denouncing what he said was the excessive use of force that led to Floyd's death, and he reiterated some of those comments during a village board meeting Monday night.
"Any officer who treats a human being like that seen in the viral video should not wear a badge," Pecora wrote. "Conversely, please do not judge or categorize all the loyal and skilled police officers as more of the same."
Also Monday night, Hayes again condemned the racist graffiti while commending peaceful protesters who gathered Sunday night at North School Park.
"Hate truly has no place here, and we will do all we can to ensure as we just pledged to our flag, liberty and justice for all citizens of the City of Good Neighbors," Hayes said. "We owe that to George Floyd, and having just observed Memorial Day, we owe it to our fallen heroes who fought and died to preserve those rights."