Chicago man did ‘Nazi march,’ threatened to burn rabbi in gas oven, prosecutors say

Chicago — A Chicago man who claimed to be a Nazi threatened to burn a rabbi in a gas oven and yelled “Heil Hitler” while doing a “Nazi march” outside a Jewish high school on Sunday, prosecutors allege.

Jay Bollyn, 69, appeared in bond court on Tuesday to face two counts of felony hate crimes and two misdemeanors. Judge Susana Ortiz ordered him to pay a $10,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring.

Jay Bollyn | Chicago Police Department

The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday outside Bais Yaakov High School of Chicago, 5800 North Kimball, where parent-teacher conferences were occurring.

Bollyn, who was near a fence outside the school, asked a witness if they were Jewish and made anti-Semitic comments, Assistant State’s Attorney Rhianna Biernat said. School staff members saw the interaction escalate into a verbal altercation, so they notified a rabbi about what they saw.

The rabbi, who also serves as head of security for other private Jewish schools, stepped outside to intervene.

Bollyn redirected his anti-Semitic rant toward the rabbi and threatened to burn the rabbi in a gas oven, Biernat said. He allegedly lunged toward the rabbi and then claimed to be a Nazi — and even showed off his “Nazi haircut.”

Biernat went on to say that when the Chicago police showed up, Bollyn was marching like a Nazi after shouting “Heil Hitler.” Officers took Bollyn into custody.

His assistant public defender, Matthew Shepard, argued that there were no injuries during the alleged incident, and “it sounds like mere words” were said.

He is on probation for filing a false complaint and has been convicted of five misdemeanors this year, according to Biernat. Judge Ortiz ordered him held without bail on a probation violation until the judge handling that case reviews the new allegations.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is