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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Bond Set for Lombard Man Charged Hate Crime

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Lombard Chief of Police Roy Newton announced today that bond has been set for a Lombard man accused yelling racial slurs at several people following a graduation party last night. Joseph Ropinski, 55 (d.o.b. 12/16/1964) of 1050 S Fairfield Street, appeared in Bond Court this afternoon where Judge Alex McGimpsey set bond at $5,000 with 10% to apply. Ropinski has been charged with one count of Hate Crime, a Class 4 Felony.                       

On June 3, 2020, at approximately 1 a.m., officers with the Lombard Police Department responded to a call of an altercation at the defendant’s home. Upon their arrival, officers found Ropinski outside his home. It is alleged that several individuals were leaving a high school graduation party when the defendant exited his house and began to yell racial slurs at them. It is further alleged that Ropinski told the individuals to “go back to the city.” It is alleged that as the victims walked toward Ropinski, Ropinski took a swing at one of them but missed. It is alleged that Ropinski then said “I have a 9 mm” and then walked back toward his home. It is further alleged that the individuals then left the scene at which time a neighbor who witnessed the altercation approached Ropinski’s home and stood in the street outside the home. It is alleged that Ropinski then armed himself with a 1x4 piece of wood and walked up to the man where he yelled a racial slur at him and said “right here, let’s go” at which time the man left. Ropinski was taken into custody at this time.      

“I want to make this perfectly clear, racially-motivated crimes, such as alleged in this case, have no place in civilized society and anyone suspected as such behavior will quickly find themselves facing felony charges” Berlin said. “I would like to thank the Lombard Police Department for their efforts in holding Mr. Ropinski responsible for his alleged actions. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Heather Misura and Anthony Pasquini for their work in preparing a strong prosecution against this defendant.”          

“The Village of Lombard is a proudly diverse community. Hateful criminal acts and the abhorrent behavior allegedly displayed by Mr. Ropinski are an affront to the values and beliefs of our community and will not be tolerated,” Newton said. “The men and women of the Lombard Police Department stand united with fellow Lombardians against any and all acts of violence and racism within our community.”        

Ropinski’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 29, 2020, for arraignment in front of Judge Ann Celine Walsh. 

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.