Friday, August 10, 2018

False carjacking report brings trouble for man who invented the Wrigleyville rooftop, police say

Robert Racky founded Lakeview Baseball Club, Wrigleyville's first rooftop club. | CPD; jessedouglas on Flickr
The businessman who created Wrigleyville’s first rooftop business is in hot water.

Prosecutors say 76-year-old Robert Racky falsely reported being carjacked in Lakeview on Thursday morning because his car had been booted by the city and he wanted police to respond. He's charged with filing a false police report. Making matters worse for Racky: Cops say they found a rifle and a shotgun in his booted car.

Racky called 911 around 8:15 a.m. and told an operator that he had been carjacked, his wallet had been taken, and that he was lying on the ground in the 1000 block of West Byron, according to court records. When officers arrived, Racky was lying on the hood of a 2005 Chevy Cobalt that had a Chicago Department of Revenue boot on the front driver’s side tire, police said.

When officers asked Racky why he reported a carjacking that didn’t happen, he allegedly said, “That’s what I told them to get you guys over here.” Police placed him in custody.

Police said they subsequently recovered a 12-gauge shotgun and .22 caliber rifle from Racky's car. He does not possess a mandatory Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, prosecutors said.

Racky is charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in a vehicle without a FOID card and felony disorderly conduct—false report. He was due in bond court on Friday.

In 1988, Racky established the Lakeview Baseball Club, Wrigleyville’s first rooftop business, at 3633 North Sheffield Avenue. Under his ownership, the club created the now-famous “Eamus Catuli” sign that counted up the number of years that had passed since the once-terrible Cubs last won various post-season championships.

A suburban bank won a $3 million foreclosure judgment against the rooftop business in 2011, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In 1993, Racky told the Broward County, FL, Sun-Sentinel about how he decided to establish rooftop viewing of Cubs game as a business:
My 13-year-old son looked at [the building on Sheffield] and said, “Dad, why don`t you buy the place and make it a club to watch games?” says Ricky [sic], a construction designer. “I thought that was a great idea. I bought the place, and on the first night game in August of `88 there were three members watching the three innings before it was rained out -- me and my two sons.”
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