Man who did ‘Nazi march’ and threatened to burn a rabbi in gas oven gets 30-month prison sentence

A Chicago man who claimed to be a Nazi while committing a string of anti-Semitic hate crimes on the North Side has been sentenced to 30 months in prison, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Jay Bollyn, 70, claimed to be a Nazi and threatened to burn a rabbi in a gas oven. He also yelled “Heil Hitler” while doing a “Nazi march” outside a Jewish high school during a string of incidents last December, officials said.

On Tuesday, Boylln pleaded guilty to a single hate crime charge in exchange for the sentence from Judge Shelley Sutker-Dermer, the records show. Prosecutors dropped two additional hate crime counts.

The incident began around 11 a.m. on December 11, 2022, outside Bais Yaakov High School of Chicago, 5800 North Kimball, where parent-teacher conferences were underway.

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 during an initial court hearing last year. 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, going so far as to show off his “Nazi haircut.”

Jay Bollyn | Chicago Police Department

When the Chicago police showed up, Bollyn was allegedly marching like a Nazi after shouting “Heil Hitler.” The officers took him into custody.

Bollyn was on probation for filing a false complaint at the time of the hate crime and had been convicted of five other misdemeanors in 2022.

His prison sentence will be reduced to 15 months for good behavior. It will be reduced by another 374 days for credits he earned since being arrested.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com