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People v. Hale

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 2, 1979.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,

v.

DENNIS HALE, APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fourth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County, the Hon. Wayne C. Townley, Jr., Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE UNDERWOOD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Dennis Hale, was charged with the offense of aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 12-4), in an information alleging that he "willfully, unlawfully and knowingly without legal justification, made physical contact of an insulting and provoking nature with Elijah Rusk, by striking him with his fist, knowing said Elijah Rusk to be a peace officer engaged in the execution of his official duties."

Defendant moved to dismiss on the ground the quoted language was insufficient to state the offense of aggravated battery. The trial judge, although indicating his belief the information was sufficient to charge battery, allowed the motion and dismissed the information in order that the State might seek review of the ruling on the aggravated battery charge. The appellate court, in a Rule 23 order (64 Ill. App.3d 1103), agreed that under People v. Lutz (1978), 73 Ill.2d 204, the information was insufficient to charge aggravated battery because it did not allege that the police officer had suffered bodily harm. We granted the State leave to appeal.

The Criminal Code of 1961 defines battery, a Class A misdemeanor, as consisting of either of two alternative types of misconduct:

"A person commits battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means, (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 12-3.)

The Code then provides, in section 12-4, that an act of battery will constitute aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony, in certain enumerated situations, including the following:

"(b) A person who, in committing a battery either:

(3) Knows the individual harmed to be a teacher or other person employed in any school and such teacher or other employee is upon the grounds of a school or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for school purposes;

(4) Knows the individual harmed to be a supervisor, director, instructor or other person employed in any park district and such supervisor, director, instructor or other employee is upon the grounds of the park or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for park purposes;

(5) Knows the individual harmed to be a caseworker, investigator, or other person employed by the State Department of Public Aid or a County Department of Public Aid and such caseworker, investigator, or other person is upon the grounds of a Public Aid office or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building used for Public Aid purposes, or upon the grounds of a home of a public aid applicant, recipient, or any other person being interviewed or investigated in the employee's discharge of his duties, or on grounds adjacent thereto, or is in any part of a building in which the applicant, recipient, or other such person resides or is located;

(6) Knows the individual harmed to be a peace officer, or a person summoned and directed by him, or a correctional officer, while such officer is engaged in the execution of any of his official duties including arrest or attempted arrest;

(7) Knows the individual harmed to be a fireman engaged in the execution of any of his official duties;

(8) Is, or the person battered is, on or about a public way, public property or public place of accomodation or amusement; or

(9) Knows the individual harmed to be the driver, operator, employee or passenger of any transportation facility or system engaged in the business of transportation of the public for hire and the individual assaulted is then performing in such capacity or then using such public transportation as a passenger or using any area of any description designated by the transportation facility or system as a vehicle boarding, ...


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