PORTAGE PARK — Someone burned a cross Tuesday morning on the lawn of a Portage Park home, police said.
No one was injured in the incident that occurred around 7 a.m. Tuesday in the 4400 block of North Monitor Avenue between Sunnyside and Montrose avenues, said Officer Michelle Tannehill, a spokeswoman for the department.
The house where the cross was burned belongs to a 62-year-old white man, Tannehill said. The incident is being investigated as a case of simple assault, but could be classified as a hate crime depending on the outcome of the investigation, she added.
Ald. John Arena (45th) denounced the incident as a "grotesque and cowardly display of hatred and bigotry."
The crime occurred on a block where several residents are Arab American and African American, residents said.
The "horrible and disgusting incident is unacceptable and deserving of strong condemnation," Arena said.
"It is especially deplorable that his happened two blocks from Prussing Elementary School, a wonderful and welcoming school where many languages are spoken among its student body," Arena said.
The incident occurred just outside the 45th Ward in the 38th Ward represented by Ald. Nicholas Sposato, who said police told him they believe the cross was burned on the wrong lawn by mistake.
"I hope it was just knuckleheads or silly kids," Sposato said. "This is terrible."
Arena urged anyone with information to call Area North detectives at 312-742-4521.
"We cannot stand silent when confronted with racism and hate," Arena said.
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