COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Brighton Park renters refusing to pay their landlord received a visit from a man claiming to be a cop and demanding money.
Tenants in a second-floor unit in the 2900 block of West 38th Street stopped paying their rent because their apartment was allegedly "uninhabitable," prosecutors said.
Patrick Thomas, 22, of Calumet City showed up Sunday at the apartment wearing a bullet-proof vest with the word "canine" and "SGT" — short for Sergeant — embroidered on it, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said. He also had handcuffs and a flashlight.
He allegedly told the tenant who lived in the upstairs unit that he had taken over the building from a guy named Leo and demanded the back rent.
Scaduto said he threatened to come back "with the dogs" if the rent hadn't been paid by the end of the week.
After he left, one of the tenants grew suspicious. He called the Chicago Police Department and learned that the man was not a cop.
When Thomas returned later the same day, the real cops arrested him.
He was charged with impersonating a police officer and multiple counts of misdemeanor assault for threatening the tenants, according to court records. A Cook County judge ordered him held on $100,000 bond Tuesday.
Officials did not indicate whether Thomas was attempting to steal the rent money or if he was there on behalf of the landlord.