Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Bad cop, no doughnut

Bad cop, no doughnut

By Alison Knezevich

The Daily Northwestern

Customers arriving at an Evanston Dunkin’ Donuts on Friday morning were surprised to find themselves responsible for freeing police officers from a hostage situation on the roof.

Throughout the day, Evanston Police Department employees were paraded onto the roof of the store, 1900 Dempster St., for “Cop on Top,” a fund raiser for Special Olympics Illinois.

“Good morning!” shouted EPD Sgt. Robert Mayer to customers — some who became quite confused — heading into the store. “How are you doing today?”

Mayer had been perched on the roof since 5:30 a.m. He was one of eight EPD employees — including Chief Frank Kaminski — who volunteered to take turns being held hostage on top of the store.

Hostages were “released” only when customers donated money to attendants outside the store.

Police chaplain the Rev. Kate Guistolise and officer Heidi Bernhardt collected

donations from passersby on their way to the store for morning coffee and donuts.

Those who donated at least a dollar got a coupon for a free donut. A donation of $10 or more earned the customer a refillable coffee mug.

Guistolise said everyone was generous but she joked that not everyone had the same motivation.

“Some of the people say, ‘Can we pay you to keep him up there?'” Guistolise said. “We say that’s OK as long as they make a donation to the children.”

EPD exceeded its goal, raising $1,036, said Bernhardt, who coordinated the event with Mayer.

But the EPD hostages encountered some bad weather during their captivity.

A gust of wind even knocked down the ladder — which provided their access to the roof — during a thunderstorm that broke out at about 10 a.m.

Store manager George Ceratti said many customers used their coupons Friday.

“They use them right away,” Ceratti said. “They love it.”

Sherry Gregory, a secretary at the City of Evanston’s Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., stopped by the donut shop on her way to work. She later returned to buy four more mugs for her co-workers.

Gregory said many of her colleagues at the senior center admired Special Olympics athletes and wanted to help them in any way they could.

“For them to want to be part of the Olympics, that’s something special,” she said.

Mayer, who kicked off the event, has a long history of involvement with Special Olympics, having become the coordinator for EPD’s

Special Olympics activities eight years ago.

In April, Mayer also received a community service award from EPD for raising more than $10,000 for the cause. He said police departments across Illinois also have worked with the organization.

“It’s something that the police departments have always embraced,” Mayer said from atop the roof.

And Bernhardt said the department sponsors year-round events to benefit Special Olympics. In March people gave officers money to jump into Lake Michigan for the “Polar Plunge” fund raiser.

In June the department will participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, where police departments across the state carry the Special Olympics torch through their hometowns before passing it on to neighboring departments.

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Bad cop, no doughnut