Suspect in UpRising Bakery vandalism pleads not guilty

A 24-year-old man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges alleging he smashed windows and spray-painted homophobic slurs at a Lake in the Hills bakery last month.

Joseph Collins, of Alsip, was charged with one count of committing a hate crime and one count of criminal damage to property between $500 and $10,000, both felonies. He also is charged with misdemeanor criminal defacement of property and criminal damage to property.

Collins was accused of vandalizing UpRising Bakery & Cafe on July 23, hours before a family-friendly drag show was to be held there. The vandalism led the bakery to cancel the performance. It was later rescheduled after a dispute with the village over whether it could keep hosting events.

If convicted on the felonies, Collins could be sentenced from one to three years in prison, but he also could be sentenced to probation or conditional discharge. He also could be ordered to pay restitution and fines as well as perform at least 200 hours of community service in McHenry County.

The day after the vandalism, the bakery reopened its doors, windows boarded up, to a line of people waiting to show their support. The incident also prompted a visit from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who voiced his support for the bakery.

Collins is due back in court Oct. 11.

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