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People v. Elliott

February 14, 2003

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DAVID L. ELLIOTT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, La Salle County, Illinois Nos. 01-CF-307, 01-DT-429 and 01-TR-11573 Honorable H. Chris Ryan Judge, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Holdridge

UNPUBLISHED

The defendant, David L. Elliott, was convicted of aggravated battery and driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI). 720 ILCS 5/12--4(b)(6); 625 ILCS 5/11--501(a)(2) (West 2000). The trial court sentenced defendant to a term of probation. Defendant appeals, contending that (1) the police officer did not have authority to stop and arrest him because the officer was outside the municipality where he was employed; (2) the State failed to prove him guilty of aggravated battery or driving while under the influence of alcohol beyond a reasonable doubt; and (3) he was prejudiced by the presence of the State's primary witness at counsel table throughout the trial. We affirm.

FACTS

Prior to trial, defendant moved to dismiss all charges, contending the police officer involved in this case did not have authority to stop or arrest him because the officer was outside his jurisdiction. The trial court denied defendant's motion to dismiss. However, defendant has not provided this court with the record of any hearing on his motion. Therefore, we must rely on the record of the jury trial in reviewing defendant's claims.

At the jury trial, Marseilles city police officer Jeremy Gaughan testified he was monitoring the speed of traffic while parked approximately 50 feet north of the Marseilles city limits. Gaughan observed a vehicle at the intersection of 11th Street and Rutland, which is inside the city limits. The vehicle appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed. Gaughan measured the speed of the vehicle with his radar device at 50 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour speed zone.

When the vehicle passed his location, Gaughan followed and activated his emergency lights. The vehicle proceeded to the driveway of a nearby private residence where it stopped. Gaughan followed the vehicle into the driveway and observed defendant exit the driver's side.

Defendant stumbled as he walked to the rear of the vehicle. Gaughan noticed defendant smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and he was having difficulty maintaining his balance. Gaughan testified that defendant failed the horizontal gaze nystagmus field sobriety test. When defendant refused to perform any other field sobriety tests, Gaughan informed him that he was under arrest.

Defendant stated he could not be arrested because he was on private property. After defendant continued to refuse to cooperate, Gaughan informed him that he would be sprayed with pepper spray if he did not place his hands behind his back. When defendant continued to assert he could not be arrested, Gaughan sprayed him with pepper spray.

Defendant then turned and began walking toward the residence. Gaughan testified that he attempted to restrain defendant by grabbing his arm. Defendant responded by punching Gaughan on the right side of his face and grabbing Gaughan by the neck. Gaughan struggled with defendant. Eventually, two other police officers arrived and defendant was handcuffed.

Gaughan further testified that defendant kicked him in the face as he was placing defendant in the squad car. Gaughan stated that he had a shoe print and a red mark on his face, and his neck was red from being choked by defendant. Officer James Hollenbeck also testified that he observed defendant kick Gaughan as they were placing defendant in the car.

Defendant was transported to the Marseilles Police Department where he agreed to take a breath test. The breath test indicated defendant's alcohol concentration was 0.194.

Albert Lukasik testified he was defendant's friend and was nearby when these events occurred. Lukasik observed Gaughan administer a field sobriety test. When Gaughan informed defendant that he was under arrest, defendant stated he had not done anything wrong. Lukasik testified that Gaughan then lunged forward, hit defendant in the chest with his forearm, kicked defendant in the legs and groin, head-butted him and sprayed him with pepper spray. Lukasik testified he fled the area after observing this attack.

Defendant testified Gaughan asked him to perform two field sobriety tests. Defendant stumbled when he stepped on a rock during the second test. When Gaughan told defendant that he was under arrest, defendant stated that the rocky surface had caused him to stumble and he was not speeding. Without any provocation, Gaughan then struck defendant in the chest, kicked him in the legs, kicked him four times in the groin and sprayed him three times in the face with pepper spray. Defendant testified he did not strike, kick, choke or grab Gaughan at any time during this incident. ...


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