APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PAUL F.
GERRITY, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is an appeal from a judgment entered in an action brought by the City of Chicago for violation of the Disorderly Conduct Ordinance, chapter 193, section 1(b) of the Municipal Code of Chicago. The court, without a jury, found the defendant guilty of the charge and fined him $250.
The Municipal Code of Chicago, chapter 193, section 1 provides as follows:
"A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly:
(b) Does or makes any unreasonable or offensive act, utterance, gesture or display which, under the circumstances, creates a clear and present danger of a breach of peace or imminent threat of violence; * * *."
The issues presented for review:
1. Whether there was sufficient evidence to sustain a finding of guilty under the disorderly conduct ordinance.
2. Whether the facts complained of constitute a violation of Section 193-1(b) of the Municipal Code of Chicago.
3. Whether a fine of $250 was excessive under the circumstances of this case.
At approximately 11:00 A.M., on February 2, 1970, the defendant, Jerry Ikin, rang the doorbell of the complainant, Anita Gordon. Mrs. Gordon answered the doorbell and the defendant informed her that he was a neighbor and he was warning people in the neighborhood that there was a "peeping tom" in the vicinity. Mrs. Gordon thanked him and began closing the door, but the defendant stopped her and began describing the "peeping tom." During this description, he started taking out a cigarette, but did not have a match. Mrs. Gordon left the door to get him a match and at that time defendant entered the apartment uninvited.
The defendant took off his coat, sat down and proceeded to tell Mrs. Gordon about his observations in the neighborhood. It was his practice to use binoculars. During the course of his narration of neighborhood activity, the complainant was unable to get defendant to leave. The defendant asked Mrs. Gordon if he could kiss her and she refused. He took the liberty of pinching her cheek. On three separate occasions she asked the defendant to leave but he ignored her requests. Finally, complainant heard the milkman and she opened the door and started talking with the milkman. The defendant then left immediately. Mrs. Gordon called the police. Defendant was arrested and charged with a violation of the City's disorderly conduct ordinance, Municipal Code of Chicago, chapter 193, section 1(b). The defendant was found guilty and fined $250 after a bench trial on June 15, 1970.
The record contains ample evidence to support the judgment of the trial court. The defendant's conduct was so outrageous that it would reasonably produce a threat of violence.
Defendant-Appellant claims he was in complainant's apartment at her invitation and that she failed to call for assistance. Under the circumstances of the case as they appeared to complainant at that time, it would not have been prudent or feasible, since she knew no one was around at that hour of the day.
Neither common sense nor any rule of law requires complaining witness to place herself in jeopardy. The trial judge pointed out that this course of action might very well have rendered her susceptible to other criminal acts being perpetrated upon her. There is ample ...