Alderman says home vandalized, arson attempted in overnight attack

A vandal threw a brick through the window of Ald. Ray Lopez’s (15th) home early Thursday before coming back an hour later and setting a nearby garage on fire.

Lopez believes that what happened overnight at his home was a direct result of an experience that he had with FOX 32 News about six blocks away from his home earlier in the day.

Lopez was giving an interview to FOX 32's Dane Placko when he says that a number of gang members told him that he does not control what happens in the neighborhood, they control what happens in the neighborhood.

On Wednesday night, unknown individuals carried out an attack on his house with bricks that were thrown through the windows and a fire was started in the alley. Lopez says his home surveillance camera system caught video of the attack.

The alderman said that he was at home when someone walked around the outside of his house and then threw a brick at a window, and then off camera attempted to throw more bricks.

He says that someone, possibly the same person, used an accelerant to set fire to a neighbor's garage. He says the suspect probably thought that the garage was his.

Lopez's husband used a hose to put out the fire and police were called.

The alderman says he believes gangs are trying to intimidate the neighborhood.

"This is gang intimidation. This was meant to send a message, and it failed," Lopez said.

"The troubled building ordinance, which was modified and enhanced under the previous administration, says that if you are a landlord and you do not take action when presented with what your tenants are doing, you can be held responsible," Lopez said. "We have used this ordinance in other areas of my ward, and it has been very effective especially when the landlord is afraid that their building will be vacated, and possibly even seized by the City of Chicago."

"I'm certain that message made its way to their gang tenants," Lopez said.

Ald. Lopez says that a city walker saw the same person walk out of the alley, as is shown in the surveillance video.

He says he doesn't know the identity of the person in the video but he has been cooperating with police and the fire department came as well.

No arrest has been made.

In early June, Lopez criticized Mayor Lori Lightfoot for neglecting the safety in neighborhoods after closing off downtown when looting, vandalism and arson swept through the Loop.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.