The Chicago police have bagged a desperado in my home city. A 13-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly hitting a Chicago police officer with a snowball. The boy insists that he was not actually the one in the crowd who threw the snowball and that it actually hit the car not the officer who was sitting in it. The main question is why such an act, even if it hit the officer, warranted an arrest for the serious offense of aggravated battery (not simply battery) to a peace officer.
This is an eighth grader who must now face the same charge as someone who attacks another person with a deadly weapon. Here is the code provision:
13-1204. Aggravated assault; classification; definition
A. A person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203 under any of the following circumstances:
1. If the person causes serious physical injury to another.
2. If the person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
3. If the person commits the assault by any means of force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part or a fracture of any body part.
4. If the person commits the assault while the victim is bound or otherwise physically restrained or while the victim’s capacity to resist is substantially impaired.
5. If the person commits the assault after entering the private home of another with the intent to commit the assault.
6. If the person is eighteen years of age or older and commits the assault on a minor under fifteen years of age.
7. If the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203, subsection A, paragraph 1 or 3 and the person is in violation of an order of protection issued against the person pursuant to section 13-3602 or 13-3624.
8. If the person commits the assault knowing or having reason to know that the victim is any of the following:
(a) A peace officer, or a person summoned and directed by the officer while engaged in the execution of any official duties.
The alleged crime occurred around 3:30 pm and the school’s dean and a security guard were stationed nearby and singled him out.
The boy has also been suspended from school.
There is no question that kids should not throw snowballs at officers or anyone else. However, we have previously seen officers charge people with battery or assault over air kisses, bubbles, hugs, pillow fights, errant french fries, and even flatulence, snowballs, and raspberries.
If the boy is telling the truth, the officer was not even hit by a snowball but the splash of a snowball, which prosecutors no doubt would describe as “snow shrapnel.” Honestly, Chicago is in the grips of serious crime issues, including gangs of teens assaulting people on the Magnificent Mile in broad daylight. I am not sure where the snowball menace falls but it is likely somewhere below that.
Now if they can show that this snowball was involved, my view may change:
Source: Chicago Tribune