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06/28/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. ERIC LAUER

June 28, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ERIC LAUER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Morris Topol, Judge Presiding.

As Corrected August 2, 1995.

The Honorable Justice Cerda delivered the opinion of the court: Greiman, P.j., And Rizzi, J., Concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cerda

JUSTICE CERDA delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a jury trial, defendant, Eric Lauer, was convicted of two counts of resisting arrest (720 ILCS 5/31-1 (West 1992)) and one count of escape (720 ILCS 5/31-6 (West 1992)) and was sentenced to three concurrent one year terms of reporting supervision and 100 hours of community service. On appeal, defendant asserts that (1) his convictions for resisting arrest must be reversed because the complaints failed to specifically allege the physical acts committed by him that constituted resisting arrest; (2) he was not proved guilty of escape beyond a reasonable doubt; and (3) he cannot be convicted of both resisting a peace officer and escape from that same officer because they arose out of the same act. For the following reasons, we affirm.

Defendant was charged with disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property, several counts of aggravated assault, battery, escape, and resisting arrest. Prior to trial, the State dismissed the disorderly conduct charge and defendant's motion to quash the arrest was denied.

The following testimony was heard at trial.

Niles police sergeant John Fryksdale and Niles police officer Thomas Davis testified that they went to 8359 Maynard Road, Niles, on May 8, 1991, after receiving a report of a loud party. Both officers stated that they heard music from a block away as they approached the residence around 1:20 a.m. There was a van in the driveway with several people in and around the van.

According to Fryksdale, defendant was in the front seat of the van working on the radio. There appeared to be six people inside the van, 15 people outside the van, and several more people going in and out of the house. After Fryksdale told defendant that there had been a report of a loud party in defendant's driveway, defendant agreed to clean up and take the party inside. Fryksdale returned to his squad car where he and Davis waited eight to 10 minutes before returning to the property.

When the officers ordered everyone to leave, defendant told them to get off his property and told his friends to go into his house. A heated argument began between defendant and the officers and eventually escalated into a physical struggle. Much of the confrontation was videotaped by defendant and played several times during the trial.

According to Officer Fryksdale, defendant kicked him in the leg before both officers were knocked to the ground and the scuffle ensued. Officer Davis testified that he did not see how the scuffle started, but tried to handcuff defendant. Fryksdale testified that defendant broke away and ran into the house after he hit Davis in the shins. During the struggle, the videocamera was knocked to the ground.

The officers pursued defendant. When they reached him, they tried to handcuff him, but he broke free. They caught up to him in the back bedroom, where Fryksdale struggled with him as Davis put his arm around defendant's neck in a retention hold.

Defendant was struggling and grabbing at Davis's arms as Davis pulled him backwards from the back bedroom toward the front door. Upon reaching the front part of the house, defendant dropped to his knees, then to the ground, before grabbing Davis's arm and pushing it behind the officer's back. Defendant then broke free, ran out the kitchen door, and disappeared.

After the State rested, the trial court made a directed finding of not guilty on the battery and criminal damage to property charges, but denied defendant's motion for a directed finding on the ...


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