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Anthony Mansicalco v. Gurnee Police Officers Jay Simon

May 19, 2011

ANTHONY MANSICALCO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GURNEE POLICE OFFICERS JAY SIMON, JEFFREY HAUPTMAN, AND MCDONALD'S RESTAURANTS OF ILLINOIS, INC., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Robert W. Gettleman

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff filed a one-count second amended complaint against defendants McDonald's Restaurants of Illinois ("McDonald's") and Gurnee Police Officers Jay Simon ("Simon") and Jeffrey Hauptman ("Hauptman"), alleging a civil conspiracy to violate his Fourth Amendment rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. McDonald's and the officers have filed the instant motions for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, defendants' motions are granted.

BACKGROUND

Unless otherwise specified, the following facts are undisputed. Plaintiff owns a restaurant in Gurnee where, on the night of March 25, 2007, he hosted a birthday party for Illinois State Senator Terry Link. At 11:30 p.m., plaintiff took a one-and-a-half ounce shot of Patron tequila. The party ended around 12:30 a.m. Plaintiff left the restaurant at 1:00 a.m. and drove across the street to Steven's Restaurant, where at approximately 1:15 a.m., he drank another one-and-a-half ounce shot of Patron. Around 1:30 or 1:40 a.m., he drove to a McDonald's. The car he was driving was registered to Shelly Goodwin, his then-fiancee.

A McDonald's employee, Fidel Castro, testified that an unidentified Gurnee police officer pulled into the drive-through moments before plaintiff arrived. Castro further testified that the officer handed Castro a piece of paper with at least four digits of the license plate on the car plaintiff was driving; Castro handed it to a co-worker, Fernando Guzman.*fn1

One minute later, plaintiff arrived at McDonald's, pulled into the drive-through and ordered food from Guzman, who swore at him in Spanish and did not give plaintiff his change. Plaintiff testified that he said to Guzman, "what is your problem," "aren't you happy working here," and "why are you F-ing with me?" Plaintiff then moved forward to the second window and waited for his food. Castro began to give plaintiff his food, but suddenly pulled the bag back. Plaintiff became irritated and said "give me my F-ing food." Guzman and Johanna Escobar, the restaurant manager, both testified that plaintiff grabbed Guzman's wrist; plaintiff disputes that he touched any McDonald's employee. The employees closed the drive-through window. As plaintiff pulled away, Guzman wrote down the license plate number of the car plaintiff was driving. Escobar told Guzman to call the Gurnee Police, and Guzman complied.

A dispatcher notified the Gurnee Police that a crime may have been committed at the McDonald's plaintiff had visited. Defendant Hauptman received the dispatch and was given a description, which included the license plate number and make of the car plaintiff was driving. Hauptman also testified that he was given an initial physical description of the offender, describing him as a white male in his 40s of Italian descent, and wearing a suit. The dispatch ordered Hauptman to go to the McDonald's and investigate the incident.

At the McDonald's, either Guzman or Escobar provided Hauptman with a physical description of plaintiff. Guzman told Hauptman that plaintiff had grabbed him by the wrist, and Escobar also described the incident.

Officer Olds (who is not a party to this action) made the initial traffic stop of plaintiff. Olds recognized plaintiff, whom he knew as a well-known businessman in the community. Olds contacted Hauptman and told him he had pulled over the car identified in the dispatch. Before Olds told Hauptman that it was plaintiff who had been pulled over, Olds asked, "you know who it is, don't you?" Based on the descriptions provided by the dispatcher and Guzman or Escobar, and the address of the car's registration, Hauptman correctly guessed that it was "Tony." Before this evening, Hauptman knew of plaintiff's activity in the community, his personality, and where he lived. Olds replied: "How come everybody knows but me?" Because Hauptman was the officer initially assigned to the dispatch, he ordered Olds to arrest plaintiff.

Shortly thereafter, defendant Simon arrived at the traffic stop. Before arriving at the traffic stop, Simon did not know who was in the vehicle. Simon testified that he observed plaintiff stumble out of his car and slur his speech, and noticed a moderate scent of alcohol on plaintiff's breath.

At that point, plaintiff was taken into custody and his vehicle was inventoried. When plaintiff arrived at the police station, he was taken to the booking room. Hauptman arrived and introduced himself to plaintiff. At the station, plaintiff swore at Hauptman and another officer and called them "clowns." Simon conducted three field sobriety tests. Plaintiff then refused to take a breathalyzer test. Following the field sobriety tests, Simon formed the opinion that plaintiff was intoxicated and charged plaintiff with driving under the influence.

Plaintiff was charged with driving under the influence and disorderly conduct. Plaintiff testified that, after the McDonald's employees failed to appear in court to testify against him, the disorderly conduct charge was dismissed in May 2007. Approximately 16 months after the incident, plaintiff was charged with battery. After a trial, plaintiff was acquitted of battery and driving under the influence on December 18, 2008.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal ...


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