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People v. Williams

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

February 22, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THOMAS J. WILLIAMS, Defendant-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois, Circuit Nos. 15-DT-186, 15-TR-9913 Honorable Kenneth L. Zelazo, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE WRIGHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Holdridge and Justice Schmidt concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          WRIGHT JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 The State appeals from an order granting defendant's motion to quash his arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) by a Lockport police officer, acting within his jurisdiction, after an off-duty Palos Hills police officer placed defendant in custody for improper lane usage. During the hearing on the motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, the off-duty Palos Hills police officer testified that he witnessed defendant driving erratically outside the officer's jurisdiction and stopped defendant for improper lane usage. However, since the off-duty Palos Hills police officer initially measured defendant's speed with a radar gun before witnessing the improper lane violation, the court quashed defendant's arrest for DUI as a product of the invalid citizen's arrest by the off-duty Palos Hills police officer. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

         ¶ 2 FACTS

         ¶ 3 On February 7, 2015, an on-duty Lockport police officer conducted an independent investigation of a complaint concerning defendant's erratic driving and improper lane usage in that jurisdiction. Defendant, Thomas Williams, received citations from the Lockport police officer for two counts of DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a) (West 2014)) in case No. 15-DT-186 and one count of speeding (625 ILCS 5/11-601(b) (West 2014)) in case No. 15-TR-9913.[1]

         ¶ 4 On April 14, 2015, defendant filed a motion to quash his arrest in case No. 15-DT-186. In his motion, defendant argued that the off-duty Palos Hills police officer, who initially stopped him, did not have the jurisdictional authority to place him in custody while waiting for the Lockport police officer to arrive.

         ¶ 5 On August 12, 2015, the court held a hearing on defendant's motion to quash. The off- duty Palos Hills police officer testified that he was driving southbound on MacGregor Road coming from 151st Street in Lockport, Illinois, at approximately 3:00 a.m. on February 7, 2015. The off-duty Palos Hills police officer advised the court that he had ten years experience as an officer.

         ¶ 6 According to the off-duty Palos Hills police officer, he was heading to his home in Lockport, Illinois, that morning after his shift ended with the Palo Hills police department. The officer was driving an unmarked police car that contained a radar gun and Mars lights. He was wearing a full police uniform and was armed with a firearm.

         ¶ 7 While driving southbound on MacGregor Road, a two-way residential street, the off-duty Palos Hills police officer encountered an oncoming vehicle that he could see was speeding above the posted 25 miles per hour speed limit. According to the off-duty Palos Hills police officer, the vehicle, later determined to be driven by defendant, was rapidly closing the distance between defendant's vehicle and the unmarked squad car.

         ¶ 8 The off-duty Palos Hills police officer testified that after visually determining defendant was speeding, he glanced at his dash-mounted radar system that he had not turned off at the end of his shift. According to the officer, the radar system measured defendant's speed at 60 miles per hour in the posted 25 miles per hour zone.

         ¶ 9 As the two vehicles approached and then passed each other traveling in opposite directions, defendant's vehicle veered into the oncoming lane of traffic. The off-duty Palos Hills police officer swerved off the road to avoid colliding with defendant's vehicle. After this evasive maneuver, the off-duty Palos Hills police officer called 911 on his personal cellular phone to report the reckless driver.

         ¶ 10 After reporting the incident, the off-duty Palos Hills police officer made a U-turn and maintained sight of defendant's vehicle. The off-duty Palos Hills police officer relayed this information about the direction of travel of defendant's vehicle to the dispatcher by using his personal cellular phone as he followed defendant's vehicle.

         ¶ 11 Shortly thereafter, defendant parked his vehicle in a driveway on Reef Road. Again, the off-duty Palos Hills police officer provided the dispatcher with ...


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