Man in T-shirt flap gets court date

Published: 5/1/200 12:08 AM

Greg Kachka said he spent Tuesday looking over his shoulder.

The 60-year-old Vietnam veteran knew Island Lake police were looking for him for a pair of disorderly conduct charges stemming from what some see as threatening behavior at last month's village board meeting.

At 4:30 p.m., police found Kachka at his house, 3221 Hyacinth Terrace.

Island Lake Police Sgt. Anthony Sciarrone said Kachka was processed and paid $500 -- 10 percent of the $5,000 bond set by the judge who issued the arrest warrant -- and was released.

Sciarrone said if Kachka would have come into the police station on his own, the fee would have been $75.

Laurie Rabattini said Citizens for Better Government in Island Lake bailed Kachka out.

"We just think this is a farce," Rabattini said. "How much time did they spend trying to figure out how to charge this guy?"

A court date has been set for June 2.

"I have no idea how I'm going to afford a lawyer," Kachka said.

Kachka's legal troubles began March 13 when he attended a village board meeting wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a Marine Corps sniper and the words, "Don't Move. If You Run, You'll Only Die Tired."

After questioning the village's legal fees, Kachka sat down and began pointing at Trustee Debbie Herrmann.

Police say Kachka had his right index finger and thumb in a fashion that portrayed a handgun. Herrmann and Village Clerk Christy Kaczmarek later filed a complaint saying they felt threatened by Kachka's actions.

Kachka maintains Herrmann was making faces at him, so he pointed at her. He said he did not mean the gesture in a threatening way.

Sciarrone said police have a picture of Kachka making the gesture, taken from the board meeting videotape. Local bloggers, however, say they also have a video proving Kachka did nothing wrong.

Minutes from the March 13 meeting were not available Wednesday.

Island Lake Mayor Tom Hyde said he was not looking at Kachka when the gesture was being made, but can see how some might view the situation as threatening.

"Today the world is a little different when it comes to threats and innuendoes," Hyde said. "Who's to know if there is something is his mind that is not right?"

Kachka said since his arrest, he has gotten a lot of support from the community. One man stopped at Kachka's house, asked if he was the veteran in trouble with police and then put seven small American flags in his yard.

"I just hope in my 15 minutes of fame I can show the corruption in this village," Kachka said. "They don't want anyone questioning what they do. Isn't this freedom of speech?"