Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 13 CR 18665
Honorable Charles P. Burns, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Presiding Justice Neville and Justice Mason concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 After a bench trial, Tythia Thigpen was convicted of
aggravated battery of a peace officer and sentenced to 11
years' imprisonment. On appeal, Thigpen contends that the
State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
because it failed to show that he knew the victim was a
police officer when he struck him with a baseball bat.
Thigpen also contends that the State failed to prove that the
officer's injury constituted great bodily harm.
2 We affirm. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the trial
court's finding that Thigpen was aware that Sergio
Glowacki was a police officer engaged in his duties when he
struck Glowacki with the bat. Moreover, Glowacki's
testimony established that his injuries reached the threshold
of great bodily harm.
4 Thigpen was tried on charges of attempted first degree
murder, aggravated battery of a peace officer, aggravated
battery, and resisting or obstructing a peace officer. At
trial, Chicago police officer Sergio Glowacki testified that
at about 12:39 a.m. on August 24, 2013, he responded to a
call regarding people fighting in the 5700 block of South
Winchester Avenue. He drove a marked police Tahoe that had
blue Mars lights, sirens, and blue and red lettering that
stated "Chicago Police." He had on his police
uniform, which included his black outer protective vest with
an embroidered star, and his patrol belt, which holds his
handcuffs and weapon.
5 When Glowacki arrived, between 20 and 30 people were
fighting, yelling, and shoving each other. Glowacki activated
the emergency equipment, including his lights, sirens, and
air horn. As people walked past his vehicle, he ordered them
to leave the area. Glowacki then saw Thigpen strike a woman
across the back with an aluminum baseball bat. Thigpen began
randomly striking other people in the crowd with the bat.
6 Glowacki approached Thigpen. There was less than an
arm's-length distance between them. Glowacki announced
his office. He ordered Thigpen to put the bat down, but
Thigpen did not comply and began walking away. Glowacki
grabbed Thigpen to place him under arrest. As Glowacki
attempted to place Thigpen in handcuffs, Thigpen struggled
and resisted, and they both fell to the ground. Thigpen
slipped out of Glowacki's grasp and stood up. Glowacki
was on his hands and knees. Glowacki looked up and saw
Thigpen holding the bat. Thigpen then struck Glowacki across
the head with the bat using "a full baseball bat"
7 Glowacki fell facedown, flat on the ground. He felt
something hit him in the head again, and he felt several hits
across the back of his vest. He tried to crawl away and
radioed the code for "officer in distress."
Glowacki then lost consciousness. He recalled someone asking
him if he could describe the offender, and he did so. Blood
gushed from his skull, and an officer put pressure on the
spot. He could not recall being treated by paramedics. He
next remembered being at John H. Stroger, Jr., Hospital. In
court, Glowacki identified a photograph of the parkway where
the attack occurred and noted the "pool of blood"
where he had been laying.
8 At the hospital, Glowacki phased in and out of
consciousness. He was connected to several breathing
apparatuses, and numerous tubes were going across his body.
He had slight bleeding in his brain and was slightly elevated
to keep the pressure off his head. He had a fractured skull
and received 27 staples to close the lacerations on his head.
A three-inch horizontal scar with no hair remains on the back
of his head. He also suffered bruised ribs. Glowacki was
hospitalized for three days.
9 After his release, Glowacki was unable to drive or ride in
a car due to motion sickness. After he improved, he underwent
four months of extensive physical therapy for his neck. He
returned to work six months after the attack but still
experiences occasional severe headaches.
10 Glowacki identified Thigpen in a lineup three days after
the attack. Video from his vehicle's dashboard camera did
not record the attack because it occurred off to the side.
The video indicates that only 32 seconds elapsed from the
time Glowacki got out of his vehicle to the time other
officers arrived and the assault ended.
11 Melchizedek Tidwell was sitting on a front porch on
Winchester Avenue when the crowd began fighting in the middle
of the street. Tidwell walked to the other side of the street
to get a better view. He saw a girl with a baseball bat in
her hand. ...