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11/25/87 the People of the State of v. Rudy Rangel

November 25, 1987





516 N.E.2d 936, 163 Ill. App. 3d 730, 114 Ill. Dec. 781 1987.IL.1748

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas P. Durkin, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. McMORROW, P.J., and JOHNSON, J., concur.


Following a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendant was found guilty of unlawful use of weapons by a felon (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 24-1.1) and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. In this appeal from that judgment, defendant contends that he was denied his right to the effective assistance of counsel at trial and that the State failed to prove him guilty of the offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.

We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


The incident giving rise to the charge against defendant occurred on December 8, 1985, in the Bridgeport area of Chicago. Sergeant John Gallagher testified that about 9 a.m. that day he was on routine patrol in a marked police car when he monitored a call of a man with a gun at 945 West 32nd Street. When he arrived on the scene, he observed defendant coming out of the building located at that address wearing a small, light-brown hat and a maroon three-quarter-length coat, carrying a plastic bag filled with clothes. Gallagher asked defendant if he knew who had called the police, but defendant responded that he did not and drove off in a white car.

As defendant was leaving the scene, a woman, whom he identified as the elder of the Reno sisters (Lynn Reno), approached him and told him that she was looking for her younger sister (Chris Reno), who had gone to call the police after her boyfriend (defendant) had threatened to kill her. Chris arrived on the scene at that point, and told him that she and defendant had argued, and that he had threatened to kill her with one of his guns. Gallagher continued his conversation with the women, who were speaking in an excited manner, and through it obtained a description of defendant and his car which he transmitted via police radio. This transmission also included defendant's potential destination and advised that he might be armed. Gallagher then ran a registration check of Illinois license plate number RGX 61, which was supplied by the women, and verified that it was registered to defendant.

In his further conversation with the women, Gallagher learned that the sisters lived in an apartment in the building, that defendant was staying there with one of them, and that Chris was afraid to point him out as he left the building while she was talking with the officers. Gallagher was also informed that defendant had several guns in the apartment and asked if he wanted them; and, in response, he and several of the other officers who had arrived on the scene went up to the apartment to get them. They recovered a gun holster and some ammunition in the search that followed, and these items were inventoried at the station as "voluntary turn-ins."

Anthony Wilczak testified that he also responded to the call at the 32nd Street address, and when he arrived about 9 a.m., observed Sergeant Gallagher there talking with two women. He did not see defendant at that time, but was present in the apartment when the weapons were recovered. Gallagher then dismissed him with instructions to look for a male Latin, about 29 years of age, who was wearing a maroon jacket, beige hat and blue jeans, and driving a white 1977 Malibu car which had red pinstripes.

After touring the area for about an hour, Wilczak observed a car which matched that description pulling up in front of the building on 32nd Street. When defendant stepped out of it, Gallagher observed that he matched the description of the man sought in connection with the aggravated assault. At that point, defendant looked in the direction of the police car as it approached, made a motion with his hand at the open door of his car, closed the door and began to walk into the hallway of the building. Wilczak called out to him to stop, but defendant kept walking and stepped up his pace.

When the squadrol pulled up to within 10 feet of the hallway door, Wilczak called out to defendant a second time, then jumped out of the police vehicle with his gun drawn and ran after him. Defendant stepped into the hallway and Wilczak forced the door open, then stopped defendant in the hallway, where he conducted a patdown search of his person. Wilczak advised defendant that he was under arrest for aggravated assault, and took him into custody; then he walked over and looked inside defendant's car, where he observed a gun lying on the floor on the driver's side. Wilczak used defendant's keys to open the door of the car and retrieved a loaded .22 caliber pistol. He further observed that the car was otherwise empty, and that it bore the license plates previously ...

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