CHICAGO (CBS) -- A man was caught on video trashing a Lakeview staple – scribbling racist and threatening messages and leaving the bar owners puzzled as they cleaned up the mess.
As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, Trader Todd's, 3216 N. Sheffield Ave., was still cleaning up Monday night from the damage that was caused last Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The general manger described the vandalism as a kick in the mouth – as the bar was shut down for five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been understaffed since reopening.
And now, the bar has been vandalized on top of it all.
"Broke 10 of our windows, ripped off the security camera right off the wall - as well as destroying another one," said Trader Todd's general manager William Gold.
Before the man broke the cameras, those cameras caught him vandalizing the bar - a Lakeview favorite for nearly two decades that is for its tropical motif and nightly karaoke.
"I was astounded," Gold said. "I mean, we are the peace and love place."
Gold said the tirade lasted about a half hour. As seen on the video, it starts with the man responsible talking on the phone, and then escalates – as the man is shown ripping out the plants out front.
Hate-filled racist graffiti was scribbled on some windows, while others were smashed out.
"He then takes out a pole that we use to change out the marquee letters, and that's when he takes out the camera, and that's when he starts breaking stuff," Gold said.
The man tore down signs that inform customers of the bars vaccination policy. Some of the hand-written vandalism even criticizes the rule.
"If that's what motivated this gentleman, I feel very bad about it," Gold said. "I wish he had not taken his anger out on us. I don't know if he's trying to make a political statement."
Like most bars, Trader Todd's was crushed by the pandemic. Now after the vandalism, the cleanup and repair will cost thousands of dollars.
Meanwhile, Gold hopes someone will recognize the man – who even flashed a wave for the cameras he went on to wreck.
"The things that he wrote and things that he did seems like someone in pain, or someone who needs to seek out professional help," Gold said.
The bar was closed at the time, so nobody was there.
The man's picture has been circulated among the staff at Trader Todd's and at other area bars. No one recognized him right away, so the bar is asking anyone who does recognize him to speak up and call police.
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