- A Hoffman Estates writer who says he has been targeted
by authorities because of his views was convicted Tuesday on charges stemming
from a confrontation last summer with police outside his home.
- Christopher Bollyn, 50, was found guilty of misdemeanor
aggravated assault and resisting arrest after a four-day trial in the Rolling
Meadows branch of Cook County Circuit Court.
- Jurors deliberated about two hours before returning the
- Bollyn, who has written for several Web sites and has
claimed that Israeli agents were involved in the World Trade Center attack
on Sept. 11, 2001, called police Aug. 15 to report a suspicious car in
his neighborhood. The car was an unmarked squad with three tactical unit
officers, and authorities said the officers pulled into Bollyn's driveway
in the 200 block of Kingman Lane to identify themselves.
- The officers testified that Bollyn became belligerent
and that they tackled him and used a stun gun to subdue him after he told
them he was going into his house to get "reinforcements."
- Bollyn, a onetime candidate for mayor of Hoffman Estates,
said the officers never identified themselves.
- During closing arguments, defense lawyer Paul Moreschi
said it was difficult to know for sure what happened but told jurors that
the "militaristic appearance" of the officers disturbed Bollyn.
- "To contend that these officers -- armed with guns,
bullet-proof vests, a Taser, pepper spray and batons -- that they were
somehow afraid of this guy in a Hawaiian shirt, standing next to his wife
and daughter, is ridiculous," Moreschi said.
- But prosecutors argued that the three men showed their
badges and wore gear that clearly identified them as Hoffman Estates police
- "This defense is ridiculous," said James Pontrelli,
an assistant state's attorney. "Even the defendant's wife testified
that one of the officers 'showed me a shiny, little badge.' "
- Pontrelli said after the verdict that Bollyn's claims
of a conspiracy linked to his writings "was too hard of a story to
sell to the jury."
- Bollyn declined to talk to reporters afterward, except
to say, "I just got found guilty, and I maintain my innocence."
- Sentencing is scheduled for June 25.