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People v. Tecza

APRIL 14, 1972.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

THADDEUS J. TECZA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANK LOVERDE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

After a bench trial defendant was convicted of Criminal Trespass to Land and fined $85 and $5 court costs. In his pro se appeal he raises the following issues: (1) whether the State proved the notice element of trespass beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) whether the trial judge improperly introduced into the proceeding his personal knowledge of the site of the trespass; and (3) whether the defendant was improperly fined.

Testimony of Officer Ferenzi, called by the State:

He is a uniformed security guard at Navy Pier in Chicago. On May 3, 1971, at 2:30 in the afternoon while guarding the front entrance to Navy Pier the defendant approached him and asked if he could enter the port area to see the ships. He told defendant that the area is restricted and he could not enter.

A few minutes later the defendant entered the front of the building which is open to the public. There is another set of doors after one enters the building which is an entrance for city electricians and plumbers. The defendant went through those doors into the restricted area and jumped over the door into the main truck gate.

The witness called to the defendant and told him he was in a restricted area, that he was trespassing. The defendant turned around and looked at Ferenzi, walked a little further on and then spoke to the other officer who was assigned to the gate. Ferenzi called to the defendant again, told him that he was trespassing and that he had to leave.

The defendant came back, climbed up on the dock and came up to Ferenzi who asked the defendant for identification. The defendant took out his identification, showed it to him and put it back into his pocket. Ferenzi told the defendant he had to see his identification to make out a field contact card on him but defendant refused to give him his identification. He told the defendant he could be arrested for trespassing and defendant said, "Go ahead and arrest me." He arrested the defendant.

Testimony of Thaddeus J. Tecza, defendant:

He entered the second set of doors in order to ask the guard (referred to by Ferenzi as "the other officer") where he could get into "the area."

He denied that Ferenzi called to him. He was walking toward Ferenzi when Ferenzi asked to see some identification. He took his identification out of his wallet and handed it to Ferenzi.

He admitted there are areas marked off by "no trespassing" signs but denied he was in any of those areas.

On cross-examination he admitted that there was a "No Admittance" sign on the gate in the picture of Navy Pier shown to him by the State.

During the trial the judge commented that he knew the area and that there was a "no ...


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