Man charged with hate crime in vandalism reported in Gladstone Park
by BRIAN NADIG
A man faces four felony charges in connection with reported graffiti and other vandalism described by police as homophobic in nature that occurred at a home in Gladstone Park on Chicago’s Northwest Side.
The suspect, who was identified by police as Thomas Howard, age 62, of the 5800 block of North Mason Avenue, lives a block from where the reported vandalism in the 5700 block of Mason occurred, according to Chicago police. Several incidents were reported to have taken place between May of 2022 and January of 2023, police said.
Howard was taken into custody at about 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee Ave., and he was charged the following day with one count of a hate crime, two counts of stalking/transmitting a threat and one count of criminal damage to property, police said.
The reported vandalism included damage to a Pride flag and graffiti on a garage with the letters “MAG” spray painted on it. The homeowner told police that for unknown reasons the vandal apparently fled before adding the “A,” in an apparent reference to the political slogan “Make America Great Again,” according to police.
In one incident in October, surveillance footage reportedly showed a man outside the house leaving a banana with the words “Obama for impeachment” written on the peel, according to police. The man on the video was wearing a face mask, police said.
In response to the vandalism, residents and members of the Chicago Police Department’s LGBTQ liaison unit last fall helped paint Pride colors on the garage.