Hateful letters falsely claiming to be from judge sent to minority-owned northern suburban restaurants – CBS Chicago

MORTON GROVE, Illinois (CBS) – Some restaurateurs in the northern suburbs are concerned for their safety after being the target of threatening hate letters.

As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Thursday night, Morton Grove police are investigating at least two restaurants that received hate-filled letters. Meanwhile, a restaurant owner in Evanston has made it clear that she will not be intimidated or silenced.

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For the past four years, Zinnia Iglesias has owned Ovo Frito Café, a popular Mexican breakfast and lunch restaurant on Maple Avenue in Evanston. But this week, Iglesias said she felt anything but welcome.

“I was wondering who can hate us so much,” she said.

The restaurant received this hate letter – covered with racial and ethnic slurs. We can’t even show you most of them.

This was a bogus court order, purportedly signed by a current Cook County judge on letterhead claiming to be from the Skokie Cook County Circuit Courthouse.

“When I opened it, I just saw these hate messages telling me – asking us to close,” Iglesias said.

The threat letter said that if Ovo Frito didn’t shut down, “you and your group will face gang action indefinitely and you know exactly what a gang can do.”

Kabul House on Dempster Street and Mt. Everest on Church Street – also minority-owned restaurants in Evanston – received similar letters this week.

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Skokie, Niles and Morton Grove Police Departments are also investigating cases involving restaurants in the northern suburbs. Eight have been reported to date.

Cook County Chief Justice Timothy Evans calls the letters appalling forgeries meant to intimidate.

“We want to believe it’s just a joke – a bad joke – but at the same time, what if this person is really crazy and is trying to do something?” Said Iglesias.

When asked if she and her staff felt worried about their safety at the restaurant, Iglesias replied, “Just a little.”

Iglesias said despite the attempt, the letters would not scare him.

“It’s important for me to speak up so that the person who did this doesn’t intimidate us,” she said.

The Cook County Chief Justice’s Office said the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were aware of the hate-filled letters.

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If you receive any of these fraudulent documents, you are asked to file a police report.

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