Saturday, May 3, 2008

Arrested for Pointing Finger

Did you read about the Island Lake man who was arrested for pointing his finger at a Village Trustee?

The popularity of Disorderly Orderly charges circulating in McHenry, Lake and Kane Counties is outrageous. It seems that you’d better not even look cross-eyed at someone or you are likely to get slapped with a Disorderly Conduct charge. What does it take to get someone charged with Disorderly Conduct? All you have to do is complain that you were alarmed or disturbed by another.

When you visit Island Lake’s website, you are immediately greeting by “Welcome to the village of Island Lake – a Community of Friendly People.” Yeah, sure, unless you question the Village Trustees and their agents about governance. Apparently, it’s okay for a Trustee to make faces at a community member in the audience but, when he attempts to point this out, then she has him arrested for Disorder Conduct.

Come on, children.

Here’s what Island Lakers have to worry about.

The Island Lake Village Code at Section 6-5-2-7 reads, “A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly: A. Does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provide a breach of the peace…”

If you read the articles about this incident in the Chicago Tribune and in the Northwest Herald and assumed that the reporters accurately described what happened at the Village meeting, then the defendant is not guilty and never should have been charged in the first place. Obviously, he didn’t “knowingly” point a weapon at a trustee (is a pointed finger a “gun”? is moving your thumb “cocking” it?). He didn’t point any weapon! He didn’t “alarm or disturb” the trustee at the meeting or the police would have been immediately summoned, instead of showing up at his door a few days later and, after that, calling on the phone to tell him to come down to the station. What? The Island Lake P.D. is conserving gas by telling accused persons to report to the police station? There’s an idea that might spread like wild fire! And, further, the peace was not breached or the cops would have been called immediately. Heck, maybe even the Lake County SWAT Team might have responded.

How does a person attend a public meeting, “alarm or disturb” another AND breach the peace and not get arrested on the spot? He doesn’t!

Why did the acting police chief accept the case and arrest the man on a complaint by a Village Trustee? Not hard to figure that one out.

Like to help out here? Go to and buy a $20 t-shirt on eBay. The money goes to the defense.

And visit This one may be where you get the real skinny on what is going on in Island Lake!

Could this happen in Woodstock? If you are worried about committing Disorderly Conduct in Woodstock, you might want to read information in the Woodstock City Code at Section 4.6.1: “A person commits Disorderly Conduct when he or she knowingly A. Does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace.” There is more, so read the entire section of the Code online at Click on City Code and enter “disorderly” in the search box.

I guess all the towns got together and went to the same seminar – or hired the same attorneys who went to same seminar. Or bought the same City Code software.



Cal Skinner said...

Ah. Democracy.

Karen12359 said...

Interesting blog you have here!
And, thank you for your post about Island Lake ... the more people that know about the corruption that goes on in ANY town the better. Knowledge is power.
Power to the people!

Gus said...

Thanks, Karen. And remember this one: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." (John Philpot Curran, Irish politician and judge)