Republicans of Wheeling Township HQ vandalism points up current lack of civil political discourse
It isn't clear whether the brick thrown through the front door of the Republicans of Wheeling Township (ROWT) headquarters in Arlington Heights the morning of July 4 was a hate crime, but concern that it was says something about the current lack of civil political discourse, a local GOP official said.
"It is unfortunate that rather than having a respectful discussion over political differences someone would throw a brick paver through a glass door instead," Wheeling Township Republican Committeeman Kathy Penner told Prarie State Wire.
Police have made no arrests in the incident.
"No witnesses have come forward and nobody has taken credit for it," Penner said.
Penner was careful not to label the incident that occurred sometime between the night of July 3 and the morning of July 4 as a hate crime, but local party officials remain concerned.
"We do not know if it was a hate crime," Penner said. "The police are listing it as a bias crime with the evidence they currently have."
The damage was discovered shortly before area Republicans arrived to prepare to participate in Arlington Height's annual Frontier Days parade to mark Independence Day.
The area where the office is located has previously been the target of vandalism, according to an article in The Cardinal in Arlington Heights published shortly after the shattered front door was reported. Graffiti is visible on the east brick wall of the headquarters building and there is broken glass at a former furniture business on the building's east side, according to The Cardinal's story.
Wheeling Township Republicans have been asking anyone with information to contact local police.
A damage estimate was not included in the incident report.
"The glass in the front door was destroyed, and the brick was thrown so hard it damaged a desk sitting a few feet behind the front door," Penner said.
Republicans of Wheeling Township opened its headquarters on Rand Road in Arlington Heights on June 5, 2004, according to information on the landing page of the party's website.
"We have never had vandalism or violent acts at ROWT headquarters before," Penner said.