Man gets 3 years for a series of anti-Semitic hate crimes on the North Side

Chicago — A Niles man was handed a three-year sentence on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to committing a series of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the West Ridge neighborhood on January 29 and 30, 2022.

Shahid Hussain, 40, pleaded guilty to five counts of hate crime involving a synagogue and two counts of institutional vandalism before Judge Shelley Sutker-Dermer. She gave him three years for each count, but the sentences will be served concurrently, according to court records. His sentence will be reduced by 50% for good behavior.

Shahid Hussain | Chicago Police Department

In one incident, Hussain stood outside Yeshivas Meor Hatorah of Chicago, 3635 West Devon, and yelled about Jews while breaking lights, using his hands to gesture like he was shooting a shotgun, and making a Nazi-like salute, prosecutors said. Video showed Hussain breaking other lights in the area while wearing a red hat and cape, two items he allegedly wore during other incidents.

Hussain allegedly admitted that he was responsible for the incidents on Facebook and posted photographs of himself performing a Nazi salute with a mustache similar to Adolph Hitler’s, prosecutors alleged.

In another incident, prosecutors said that a witness saw Hussain yelling loudly about what time Shabbat began as he walked outside Congregation KINS of West Rogers Park, 2800 West North Shore. She recorded video of the man wearing a cape and red hat as he walked into a vestibule, where another camera captured images of him breaking the glass.

Later, a driver called 911 after allegedly seeing Hussain paint swastikas on trailers outside Jewish institutions on the 2900 block of West Devon. Those incidents were also captured on video.

Police arrested Hussain near the 6300 block of North Albany after a 911 caller reported that a man was yelling about bombing and burning synagogues, according to CPD records.

Hussain was on parole for forgery and on supervision for stalking and violating a no-contact order at the time of the hate crimes. Authorities revoked his parole after the new allegations surfaced and returned him to the Pinckneyville Correctional Center last February.

The Illinois Department of Corrections has not published Hussain’s anticipated parole date.

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