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People v. Veile

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 13, 1982.

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

v.

GAIL A. VEILE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Adams County; the Hon. Fred W. Reither, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE WEBBER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was found guilty by a jury in the circuit court of Adams County of the offense of aggravated battery in violation of section 12-4(b)(6) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 12-4(b)(6)). She was sentenced to one year's probation and the payment of a fine of $250. On appeal her chief contention is that the State failed to prove bodily harm in the simple battery which was the predicate for aggravated battery. We agree and reverse. For this reason we need not discuss contentions concerning the fine which are also issues on appeal.

Without belaboring them in exhaustive detail, we find the operative facts to be that defendant and her male companion, Heuer, were present in a tavern on May 8, 1981. Because of their misconduct there, they were asked to leave and ultimately the police were called to eject them. After some further acrimonious exchanges with the police and personnel of the tavern, defendant, Heuer, and Police Officer Summers left the premises together. In doing so, defendant fell down some steps. By the time defendant got to her feet the officer was outside the tavern and testified that defendant was still being loud and profane in her language. He then ordered her to leave the area. She began shaking her left hand with a finger extended in the officer's face, and he thereupon seized hold of her left wrist and put it down, again telling her to depart.

When the officer released defendant's left wrist, she then struck him in the chest with her right fist. While the record is unclear at this point, since the trials of defendant and Heuer were severed and we do not know exactly what Heuer was doing, the officer did testify that Heuer grasped him from behind and in the ensuing affray the officer suffered a dislocated shoulder.

The significant portion of the officer's testimony as it relates to the principal issue is found in his cross-examination:

"Q. [Defense counsel]: So, she brought her hand up from her hip approximately and struck you straight back?

A. [Officer]: Yes.

Q. And you were about two feet away?

A. Approximately.

Q. Were you injured by the blow?

A. No, I was not.

Q. Did it raise a bruise?

A. No.

Q. Did it cause you to lose ...


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