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People v. Klimek





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. JOHN TESCHNER, Judge, presiding.


Defendant, Alexander Klimek, was arrested by the Village of Woodridge police on March 6, 1980, and was subsequently charged by information with violation of the Cannabis Control Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 56 1/2, par. 704(c)); disorderly conduct (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 26-1(a)(1)); two counts of aggravated battery (knowing the individual harmed to be a police officer while such officer was in the execution of his official duties) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 12-4(b)(6)); and three counts of resisting arrest (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 31-1). The defendant filed a motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence. Specifically, his motion requested the suppression of all physical evidence seized, suppression of all statements, admissions, confessions, whether inculpatory or exculpatory, written or oral, and all testimony pertaining to events which occurred inside the defendant's home at the time of his arrest. The trial court granted the defendant's motion in its entirety, quashing the arrest and suppressing all evidence requested in the motion. The State has taken interlocutory appeal of that order, pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(1). Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110A, par. 604(a)(1).

Officer Chris Marema of the Village of Woodridge Police Department testified at the suppression hearing that he arrived at the apartment building where defendant resided at approximately 10 a.m. on March 6, 1980. Upon arrival, Officer Krupka informed him that defendant's upstairs neighbor had complained about defendant's foul language and a complaint was going to be signed for disorderly conduct. The complaint, however, was not signed until after the defendant had been taken into custody and transported to the Village of Woodridge police station. Marema further testified that Officers Krupka, Andrewski, and himself, all in police uniform, proceeded to defendant's apartment and knocked on the door. When a female voice inquired from behind the closed door what they wanted, the officers informed her that they were police officers, informed her of the complaint, and requested to speak with Alexander Klimek. The female then opened the door and entered the hallway. She informed the officers that Klimek was ill and could not come to the door. At that point, a male voice from inside the apartment yelled, "Get in here. Those m____ f____ ain't coming in." The female then attempted to run from the hallway and re-enter the apartment, and the door was slammed on Officer Krupka's "leg and foot area." The officers then pushed on the door inward, swung it open and went into the apartment. Defendant was found behind the door up against the wall, and he began swinging, striking Marema and pushing the other officers. After subduing the defendant, Officer Marema observed a clear plastic "baggie" containing a green, leafy substance, alleged to be cannabis, lying near the couch which was three or four feet from the door. The item was then seized and defendant was arrested and taken to the police station.

Officer Krupka testified he had been assigned to a call to speak to a complainant regarding a complaint of disorderly conduct. He then spoke with this person who said she wished to sign a complaint. She told him that they had problems with noise with the people who lived downstairs and that there had been pounding on the floor of their apartment and the shouting of obscenities directed toward her family. Officer Krupka then testified that the other two officers joined him and they went down to defendant's apartment. After knocking on defendant's door, Krupka heard a female voice ask what was going on. He told her they wished to speak with Mr. Klimek and would like to know if he was home. The female said he was unavailable and sick and couldn't come to the door. Krupka testified that he indicated there was a complaint from upstairs, and then the female came out. He told her then that the people upstairs wished to sign a complaint and Mr. Klimek would be arrested. She told him they had no right to knock at the door and the police weren't going to come in. As she began to re-enter the apartment, the door opened and he heard a voice shout that they wouldn't get in. Krupka stated he attempted to then look in the door a little better, and the door slammed on his foot which was just inside the threshold of the door. The officers then attempted to enter the apartment. Krupka testified he did this "for my safety as to who was behind the door * * * and that a battery had been committed." He saw defendant then hit Officer Marema. After the defendant was arrested and taken to the police station, he advised defendant of his Miranda rights. No other witnesses testified at the hearing.

At the time of their forced entry into the defendant's apartment, the police officers had neither an arrest nor a search warrant. The testimony also established that the officers had not personally observed defendant's actions with regard to the initial disorderly conduct charge. Also, consent to enter the apartment was refused by both of the apartment's occupants.

On appeal, the State's argument to justify the warrantless entry is that sufficient exigent circumstances existed which entitled the arresting officers to enter defendant's apartment to make a warrantless arrest. Secondarily, the State contends that even if exigent circumstances are not found the trial court's suppression order is too broad.

Absent exigent circumstances, the fourth amendment prohibits the police from making a nonconsensual entry into a suspect's home for the purpose of effecting an arrest without a warrant. (Payton v. New York (1980), 445 U.S. 573, 63 L.Ed.2d 639, 100 S.Ct. 1371.) The officers' entry in the present case was not pursuant to warrant and was clearly nonconsensual. Therefore, in order to justify the officers' entry into defendant's home, there must be a showing of exigency.

• 1 The question of whether exigent circumstances exist is a question of law, subject to de novo review by this court. (People v. Abney (1980), 81 Ill.2d 159, 168, 407 N.E.2d 543, 549.) Our supreme court in People v. Abney (1980), 81 Ill.2d 159, 168, 407 N.E.2d 543, 547, defined three factors indicative of the presence of exigent circumstances authorizing a warrantless entry of a dwelling, and set forth four factors which suggested to the court that the officers acted in a reasonable manner. This court summarized those factors in People v. Wilson (1980), 86 Ill. App.3d 637, 408 N.E.2d 988, as follows:

"(1) The recentness of the offense and the need for prompt action (i.e., within the spirit of the `hot pursuit doctrine');

(2) The fact there was no deliberate or unjustified delay by the officers during which time a warrant could have been obtained and

(3) The fact the suspect was armed and exhibited some sign of a violent character."

The reasonableness factors were:

"(1) The existence of a clear showing of probable cause based on reasonably ...

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