APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DANIEL
J. WHITE, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DEMPSEY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Booker Hanson was found guilty of theft (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 38, par. 16-1(a)) and sentenced to jail for the term of six months. The evidence presented by the State at the non-jury trial consisted of the testimony of George Scanlon, the complainant, and a Chicago police officer. Hanson denied participation in the offense and claimed he was at home watching television; his mother corroborated his whereabouts.
Of the points raised on appeal, one is decisive: the contention that reversible error was committed when a police officer was permitted to testify, in contradiction to Scanlon, that Scanlon identified Hanson from a photograph as one of his three assailants.
Hanson, Robert Walton and David Blackwell were charged with stealing Scanlon's money and were tried together. At a pretrial hearing on a motion to suppress identification, Scanlon testified that he was called to a police station to view suspects. As he stood in a hallway, Hanson, Walton and Blackwell were brought before him individually. He said that he was not sure of Walton and Blackwell but was of Hanson. The court reserved its ruling on the motion. At the trial the 60-year-old victim testified that he was employed by a liquor store and was depositing some trash in an alley container around 12:30 A.M. As he opened the lid, someone approached him from behind, twisted his arm and covered his face. He was thrown to the ground and one of three assailants took a key case and $12 from his pockets. He "got a look" from the distance of two and a half feet at the person who was holding him and he identified Hanson as that assailant. The other two men were not seen face to face; Scanlon's opportunities for viewing them were limited to his observations as they fled down the alley. However, he described them as being heavier than himself, about five feet nine inches in height and having the same physical characteristics. He estimated the commission of the offense took one minute or a little longer. There was no testimony about the lighting conditions.
On cross-examination, Hanson' counsel asked Scanlon about the police station identification:
"Q. You never saw this man, is that correct, before you were in the police station?
A. Oh, they had pictures of them.
Q. Police had photographs?
A. There is two cards, one on each card.
Q. There were four photographs all together?
Q. How many of those did you ...