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People v. Guzzardo

FEBRUARY 7, 1955.

PEOPLE OF STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT IN ERROR,

v.

SAMUEL GUZZARDO, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR.



Appeal from the County Court of Winnebago county; the Hon. FRED J. KULLBERG, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE CROW DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is a proceeding to review the conviction of the defendant by the county court, without a jury, the defendant having waived trial by jury, under Count III of an information charging a violation of ch. 38, Ill. Rev. Stats. 1953, par. 507 [Jones Ill. Stats. Ann. 37.465], the defendant having been found guilty and the court having assessed the penalty at a $50 fine, and costs.

Chapter 38, Ill. Rev. Stats. 1953, par. 507, provides that:

"507. Unlawful assembly.] Sec. 252. If two or more persons assemble for the purpose of disturbing the public peace, or committing any unlawful act, and do not disperse on being desired or commanded so to do by a judge, justice of the peace, sheriff, coroner, constable or other public officer, the persons so offending shall be severally fined not exceeding $200."

Count III of the information, so far as material alleges that:

"And the said Robert R. Canfield in the name and by the authority of the People of the State of Illinois, further informs the Court that the said . . . Samuel Guzzardo . . . (and some 21 other named defendants) together with divers other persons whose names are to said affiant here unknown, on the 12th day of January, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty four, in the City of Rockford, in said County and State aforesaid, did unlawfully and riotously assemble and gather together for the purpose of doing an unlawful act, to-wit: for the purpose of seeking then and there to prevent other persons, to-wit: Ernest Wilke, Marvin Ferguson, and E.A. Bishop from working at a lawful business on terms that Ernest Wilke (et al.) then and there saw fit, by threats, intimidation, and unlawful interference, and the said . . . Samuel Guzzardo . . . (and the 21 other named defendants), together with divers other persons and each of them, being then and there so assembled and gathered together, then and there did not disperse on being then and there, while being so assembled and gathered together as aforesaid, desired and commanded so to do by one Clifford Hand then and there a police officer of the said City of Rockford . . ."

A motion of the defendant to quash the information was denied. The defendant made a motion to dismiss at the close of the People's evidence, upon which ruling was at first reserved and later it was denied, and the defendant made a similar motion at the close of all the evidence and that was denied.

The defendant is an alderman of the City of Rockford and was such at the time of the alleged violation of the statute.

On this review the defendant's theories are: (1) As an alderman of the City of Rockford he is a "public officer," does not come within the meaning of "persons" as used in ch. 38, Ill. Rev. Stats. 1953, par. 507, and the statute is not applicable to him; (2) he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty; and (3) the evidence as to his prior good reputation was not given enough weight.

As to the defendant's first contention, he cites no statute or case authority to sustain the same and we, independently, have found none in Illinois. Assuming that an alderman is a "public officer" as those terms are used in ch. 38, Ill. Rev. Stats. 1953, par. 507, that individual is nonetheless also a "person" and comes within the meaning of "persons" as that term is used in that statute.

Webster's "New World Dictionary," p. 1092, defines "person," so far as material, in this manner:

"1. a human being, especially as distinguished from a thing or lower animal; individual man, woman, or child; . . . 3. (a) a living human body, . . . 6. in law, any individual or incorporated group having certain legal rights and responsibilities. . . ."

Bouvier's "Law Dictionary," p. 934, defines "person," so far as material, in this manner:

"A man considered according to the rank he holds in society, with all the right to which the place he holds entitles him, and the duties which it imposes . . . The term is, however, more extensive than man. It may include artificial beings, as corporations . . . Where the statute prohibited any person from pursuing his usual ...


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