Chicago Police Arrest 13-Year-Old Boy For Allegedly Hitting Officer With Snowball

143px-Chicagopd_jpg_w300h294Snowball-CopBlock-550x356The 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:

180px-Giant_snowball_Oxford

Source: Chicago Tribune

22 thoughts on “Chicago Police Arrest 13-Year-Old Boy For Allegedly Hitting Officer With Snowball”

  1. See, this is EXACTLY why the police need all those M113 armored personnel carriers the military no longer uses. Snowballs.

    (And, if I heard today’s news correctly about Defense Secretary Hagel’s proposal to shrink the Army, more of these little babies will be on roads near you!)

  2. It must have been a snowball of mass destruction for the “authorities” in Chicago to attempt to destroy the life of a thirteen year old boy.

    Such highly trained professionals infesting the windy city.

  3. The kid needs to learn to show a little respect for the police and his fellow man. Getting arrested is better than being taken into the alley and getting the crap beat out of you like in the old days.

  4. A kid throwing a snowball at a police office has serious social significance. Who knows, a snowball at a police office today, a serial murderer tomorrow. This lost child, who is a victim of his environment, could have ADD, manic-depression, early signs of schizophrenia, and probably is a child of a broken home and a failed education system. Please, Officer Krumpke, help him. LOL

  5. It just occurred to me that — if a 13 year old child throwing a snowball at a police officer can be charged with felony assault — then, all snowball fights between kids may be illegal. I guess we could legally excuse some snowball fights as contact sport like boxing — it sounds like it should be consensual (you think I’m kidding; that’s the legal follow up; ask a prosecutor, once the idea gets into their heads you never know).

    I remember working my paper route in the snow and dreading other kids firing snow balls at me back in the Bronx in the early 1960s. One kid and I exchanged fifty shots with before he gave up — you couldn’t quit — leaving my hands all wet and cold through the gloves. Never occurred to naive me to call the cops.

    So, I guess that, with our new legal insight, if anyone witnesses kids throwing snowballs at each other they may call the police (be funny to actually try this, citing the newspaper story) — who can come and investigate whether the contestants know each other, whether the battle is consensual or whether one side is the innocent victims.

    (If you hit cop with a marshmallow would that constitute an assault — or maybe a prank — whatever happened to Judge Judy’s concept of “de minimus” injury: the law doesn’t concern itself with trifles?)

  6. You would think that in the midst of a serious crime wave, the police would be doing everything they can to improve community relations. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t police usually solve crimes by getting someone to tell them who did it? I wonder how much cooperation they will get from that community from now on.

    …and the school dean is a dick. How much respect will he get from now on?

  7. If the kid had a $20 bill it could have all gone away the Chicago way. Give a cop a $20, walk away free.

  8. Boy, today seems to be police day! The CPD officer should be ashamed of himself and he and the prosecutor should be disciplined for bringing such a ridiculous charge. I don’t suppose the 8th grader is being charged as an adult? That is probably the next step! Is there no video of the event? There are so many cameras on the street these days in Chicago, that I am amazed that there was no video from a street camera or someone’s phone. Horrible.

  9. This is worse than the Henry Lewis Gates affair in Boston! This cop needs to have his head examined by a shrink. He appears to have a persecution complex.

  10. But you don’t understand, the boy, the snow ball simply were not paying the correct amount of respect to the police officer…the boy is lucky, to paraphrase one police chief, that the officer didn’t shoot him. There was a time when a snow ball would have resulted in a smile from the cop or may be a return snow ball but today playing with the police or even interacting with them is a dangerous exercise. Too bad.

  11. This is simply inane.

    I will stipulate that assaulting a police officer constitutes a felony assault but how about the notion of a little discretion here by the police. In American culture throwing a snowball at someone is not at all considered a crime. If a person wants action taken the expectred response permitted is to throw a snowball back.

    I don’t know what constitutes assault in Illinois but a tossed snowball? It wouldn’t fly here. Washington does not have a statutory definition of “assault”. It relies on a common law definition. I would like to think a Common Sense would be the dictating criterion.

    I look at it from an evidenciary point of view when determining if an assault took place. No articulable sign of pain, no marks showing injury? It is not a provable offense.

    I hope the judge dismisses this case at the boy’s arraignment, if the prosecutor is somehow wanting to prosecute this. If I was the judge I would like an affidavit from the officer asking him why he wasted the court’s time.

  12. “Snow shrapnel.” LOL! These poor policemen. When are they going to grow up? They are funded too well and have too much time on their hands.

  13. Bad actors seem to be following you Professor Turley.

    The kid haters in Chicago, and the thugs at your University:

    In 2011, at George Washington University during a public event where Clinton was speaking, McGovern stood up and turned his back to the stage. He did not say a word, or otherwise disrupt anything. University cops grabbed McGovern in a headlock and by his arms and dragged him out of the auditorium by force, their actions directed by a from the side by a third man whose name was redacted from public records of the event. Photos of the then-71 year old man taken at the time of his arrest show the multiple bruises and contusions he suffered while being arrested. He was secured to a metal chair with two sets of handcuffs. McGovern was at first refused medical care for the bleeding caused by the handcuffs. It is easy to invoke the words thug, bully, goon.

    The charges of disorderly conduct were dropped, McGovern was released and it was determined that he committed no crime.

    And one more thing: the speech Clinton was making at the time of McGovern’s protest and arrest? She was condemning authoritarian governments who repress dissenters and internet freedom. As McGovern was being dragged out, Clinton stated that “The government does not want the world to watch,” in reference to Egypt, not her America as unfolding before her eyes. Clinton did not acknowledge the arrest, never broke character as it happened.

    (Dissenter). Meanwhile dissenters in the Ukraine ran their president out of town on a rail.

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