Restaurant owner arrested over alleged false report

Restaurant owner arrested over alleged false report

URBANA — An Urbana restaurant owner is in jail after police said he made a false report about a hate crime and death threat.

Marvin L.F. Lacy, 71, of Champaign, owns Lacy's Kansas City Style BBQ, 119 W. Main St., U.

He was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct — false police report, Lt. Rich Surles said.

Lacy told police on May 3 that a lock was cut and power turned off at the exterior power control box to the business sometime between April 30 and May 2.

Lacy said that more than $700 worth of meat spoiled in the cooler.

The Urbana Police Department took a report but could not find some of the evidence it was looking for.

"We're actively working on the lock-cutting case. We have not found the lock," Surles said.

On May 13, Lacy reported that he had received a threatening letter. The envelope was sent anonymously to the business.

The letter demanded that Lacy leave Urbana or face physical harm, Surles said.

Lacy told The News-Gazette it specifically used a racial epithet. Lacy was in jail Thursday, unavailable for comment.

Police said the envelope was mailed from the downtown Urbana post office. The sender was found and identified as an employee of Lacy's business, Surles said.

The employee said he was given a pre-addressed, sealed envelope and told by Lacy to mail the envelope to the business. The employee also said Lacy gave him a ride to the post office.

Urbana police arrested Lacy Thursday and took him to the Champaign County Satellite Jail.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Urbana Police Department at 217-384-2320. Callers may remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS or text "CCTip" plus the information to CRIMES (274637).

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wayward wrote on May 20, 2016 at 12:05 am

How bizarre.  Wonder if there were any financial difficulties or insurance fraud going on, given that the claim included $700 in spoiled meat?  The restaurant market in C-U is brutally competitive, and IIRC, there's been more than one unsuccessful restaurant in that location.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on May 20, 2016 at 7:05 am

The most disturbing part is the pathetic attempt to turn this into a racial issue.  That attempt reveals this man's true character and thought process and there's no defense for it.

InTheMorningCU wrote on May 20, 2016 at 8:05 am

He hoped to gain a financial windfall from his actions, but the $700 in meat was just collateral damage as part of the scheme. His goal was to drum up public support and sympathy--and therefore increased patronage--for his business after the community witnessed the horrible treatment they received. It's unfortunate he felt he had to stoop so low to succeed, they actually produced a quality product.  

welive wrote on May 20, 2016 at 11:05 am


People like this is one reason hate crimes are still present in todays life.FAke Stories i get it you BBQ kinds suks and you put all your money in this location.But as a small busniess owner myself who has faced problems in building my busniess,this is not the way.Shame on anyone who was Involved.

Only $700.00 worth of meat uh must of been a small cooler not to mention the fact how long was it before they checked the cooler?


ranger7777 wrote on May 20, 2016 at 6:05 pm

The guys barbeque was horrible! An if you think is was good you dont know barbeque!

Martin1 wrote on May 24, 2016 at 3:05 pm
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......and you are a patron of Preppy BBQ ? Oh, I mean Black Dog...

Bra adamant wrote on May 23, 2016 at 12:05 pm

I live a few blocks away and have NEVER smelled the Q. I've smelld Lil' Porgies MANY times, and its further from me.

Sad that people have to resort to this. Maybe if he would've advertised with the News-Gazette.....

acylum wrote on May 24, 2016 at 10:05 am

This defies all logic.  I could see the broken lock report if he had meat that was already spoiled due some error.  Then he says it got broken into and the meat spoiled as a result.  He might then file an insurance claim.  However, the missing lock makes it hard to prove a "crime" occurred.  A thief isn't going to take the broken lock with them...

Using an employee to mail the letter to his business is the huge head scratcher.  Why involve another person?  It just a provides a witness who is going to answer honestly to the police.