Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez says his Brighton Park home was attacked early Thursday morning when someone threw bricks through his windows and lit a neighbor’s garage on fire.
Lopez, 15th Ward, told WBEZ that around 1:15 a.m., security cameras in front of his house caught the perpetrator walking around his home before throwing bricks through the front windows.
Hours later, Lopez says he and his husband heard an explosion out back and learned their neighbor’s garage had caught on fire.
“My husband ran out to the back with our hose, trying to put out the fire,” Lopez said in an interview with WBEZ Thursday. “You could smell the stench of the gasoline or accelerant they used to set the garage on fire.”
Lopez said the perpetrator who tried to burn down the garage looked like the same guy who threw bricks at the front of his house, according to his video footage.
The alderman suspects the attack is retaliation for work he says he’s doing to run gangs out of his ward, which includes the Southwest Side neighborhoods of Brighton Park, Back of the Yards and Gage Park.
“I don’t know who it was exactly, but I have my suspicions,” Lopez said. “I am more than certain that this has to deal with our renewed efforts to address the gang elements and magnets in our community. We have been aggressively going after a number of gang houses in our community.”
Lopez didn’t mention seeing any gang tags or messages left behind. The alderman filed a police report with the Chicago Police Department, which is investigating the attack.
Speaking at an unrelated press conference on Thursday, Mayor Lori Lighfoot was asked to comment about the attack on the alderman’s home.
“I don’t know much about it at this point beyond what Ald. Lopez has shared with the press,” the mayor told reporters. “But I can tell you that CPD immediately responded, and are in conversation with him and an investigation is ongoing.”
Claudia Morell covers City Hall for WBEZ. Follow her @ClaudiaMorell.