Anti-Gay Arson in Oak Park, IL

A popular gay nightclub in Oak Park, IL was gutted by fire last week. Anti-gay graffiti was left on the wall, suggesting the suspects acted out of malice against the club’s owners and clientele. Police are now formally declaring the incident an act of arson.

“It’s been concluded by investigators that probable cause indicates arson,” Oak Park Fire Deputy Chief Kenneth Klemm told The Chicago Tribute. “Police are now taking the lead on the investigation.”

The fire was reported at the Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge early Sunday morning. According to the club’s owner, Frank Elliott, authorities found derogatory messages written inside the scorched building. The Tribune reports that a piece of the club’s wall has been removed and taken for evidence.

Police Commander LaDon Reynolds confirmed the presence of graffiti, but refused to describe it because the investigation is ongoing. “We do not have any suspects at this time; we are still investigating leads,” Reynolds said. “We are not holding anyone in custody at this time.”

“We’re hoping that, from additional interviews, more leads will come,” Reynolds said.

Police have declined to state whether they believe the arson was committed as an anti-gay hate crime.

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Photo credit: Dwayne Bent (Creative Commons)

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Angela N.
Angela N.3 years ago


Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy3 years ago

Nazi. Just Nazi. Jesus would not have approved.

Mary Mattarelli
Mary Mattarelli3 years ago


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle3 years ago

Uh. .... anti-gay graffeti on the walls of a gay club, and the police can't call it a Hate crime??!!

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Suzy D.
Suzy D.3 years ago

They`d better not play with matches in prison !

Robert Moseley
Robert Moseley3 years ago

The right to love whom ever you want should not be denied.

Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago

Yes, and the right wing Evangelicals are fanning the flames.

marc horton
marc horton3 years ago

i hope the police find these idiots and put em' in jail

Donna T.
Donna Tritz3 years ago

This sort of thing happened to blacks frequently during the Civil Rights Movement. When're minority begins to push to exercise their human, civil rights, some in the majority feel threatened. The knuckle draggers do this kind of thing.