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11/12/87 In Re A.J.D.

November 12, 1987

IN RE A.J.D., A MINOR (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

Petitioner-Appellee, v.

A.J.D., Respondent-Appellant)

515 N.E.2d 1277, 162 Ill. App. 3d 661, 114 Ill. Dec. 6 1987.IL.1675

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. John L. Davis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. SPITZ, P.J., and McCULLOUGH, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND

On December 15, 1986, a petition for adjudication of wardship was filed against the respondent minor A.J.D., alleging he committed the offenses of attempt (robbery) and battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 8-4(a), 12-3(a)(1)) on November 7, 1986. Following an adjudicatory hearing, the trial court found the allegations of the petition proved and adjudicated A.J.D., age 16, a delinquent minor. Following a Dispositional hearing held the same day, March 4, 1987, the trial court adJudged A.J.D. a ward of the court and committed him to the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division . The respondent minor appeals, arguing the trial court abused its discretion by committing him to DOC and failed to give consideration to the less drastic alternative of continued probation as recommended by his probation officer and the State.

The underlying petition for adjudication of wardship was based on an incident when the respondent minor and a companion approached a 21-year-old woman near a phone booth at about 10:30 p.m. on November 7, 1986. The young woman testified at the adjudicatory hearing that on the night of the offense she had had an argument with her boyfriend and exited his car about three blocks from the phone booth. She walked to the phone booth, made a call and, as she left the phone booth, was approached by the respondent minor and another young male. According to the woman, the other boy asked her for her purse and she refused to give it to him, whereupon he "punched" her in the face several times. The woman testified she continued to hold her purse, and A.J.D. pushed her from her side or back while the other boy made another attempt to grab her purse and punched her in the face again. The woman testified the boys apparently became discouraged since she did not turn over her purse and they started to walk away.

The woman testified she went back into the phone booth and tried to get an operator and began screaming for the police. She said the boys came back and both began to hit her. She continued to scream and a car finally pulled into the parking lot and two boys ran off.

The woman testified that by this time she had the emergency services at telephone number 911 on the phone, but she was hysterical and could not talk, so the man in the car got on the phone and reported that the boys were running across the Montgomery Ward parking lot.

Decatur police officer Richard Hazen testified that on November 10, 1986, he spoke to A.J.D. at headquarters after informing him of his rights. Hazen testified A.J.D. named the other person he was with on the night of November 7, admitted they saw a woman in the phone booth, and said the other boy wanted to "mess with her." Hazen said A.J.D. told him the other male approached the woman and grabbed for her purse, the woman kicked the other boy, who then struck her, and the woman then hit A.J.D. and A.J.D. hit her in the shoulder. Hazen said A.J.D. told him he hit the woman only once.

A.J.D. took the stand in his own defense. He named the other individual and said they had approached the woman at about 11:15 p.m. on November 7, 1986. A.J.D. testified the other male asked the woman her name and, when she did not tell him, he reached for her purse and she slapped him. A.J.D. testified the other boy then slapped the woman and the woman slapped A.J.D., and A.J.D. hit her: "As she was swinging she turned and I hit her in the arm." According to A.J.D.'s testimony, the other male grabbed for the woman's purse only once, and neither he nor the other male went back to the woman a second time as she had testified.

On this evidence, the court found the allegations of the petition had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt and found A.J.D. a delinquent minor as defined in section 2-2 of the Juvenile Court Act ...


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