While saying goodbye, at about 11am, he noticed a man leaning up against his car. Mike left his friend’s apartment and caught the man keying his car on multiple sides.
After caught in the process, the man told Mike, “you think you can do whatever you want with Department of Defense license plates and tags”. (In Illinois you can purchase veteran, Marine, or medal plates. Mike has Illinois Marine Corps license plates.) During the exchange, he made additional anti-military comments.
Mike called the Chicago police and had the man arrested. A citation against the man was issued for misdemeanor criminal damage to private property.
As it turns out, the man is Chicago lawyer Jay R. Grodner, who owns a law firm in the city and has offices in the suburbs.
A vandal in the legal profession, no less.
BlackFive carries a report of an alleged anti-military hate crime (vandalism). I can’t speak to the facts, having seen just this one account; but I am curious about one legal question: When a complainant in a criminal case — or some other kind of witness, in a criminal or civil case — is about to become unavailable because he is being recalled to active duty, how does the legal system treat the matter?
Note, incidentally, that I label this incident an alleged hate crime because, if the facts are as alleged, it is a hate crime, and because that’s a clear quick way of describing the matter. I am not urging any specially heightened penalties for such crimes, nor to my knowledge is the complainant.
It is a hate crime.
The question remains, what can the Marine legally do?