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COMMONWEALTH v. BEAM (04/03/74)

decided: April 3, 1974.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BEAM, APPELLANT



Appeals from judgments of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, March T., 1972, Nos. 262 and 263, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Alfred J. Beam.

COUNSEL

Carmen P. Belefonte, with him Garland D. Cherry, and Kassab, Cherry and Archbold, for appellant.

Philip J. O'Malley, Assistant District Attorney, with him Ralph B. D'Iorio, Assistant District Attorney, and Stephen J. McEwen, Jr., District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. (Spaulding, J., absent). Opinion by Hoffman, J. Concurring Opinion by Spaeth, J. Jacobs and Cercone, JJ., join in this opinion.

Author: Hoffman

[ 227 Pa. Super. Page 295]

This is an appeal from judgments of sentence for resisting arrest and assault and battery.

The facts of the instant case are not in dispute. On February 23, 1972, Patrolman Joseph Ianni of the Chester Police Department ticketed two Chester Cab Company taxis for parking violations. The company is owned by appellant. On the following day, appellant approached Ianni and asked whether he had ticketed the two cabs. When Ianni answered affirmatively, appellant began shouting and threatening the officer with bodily harm. After a crowd gathered, Ianni told appellant to calm down or he would be arrested. Appellant continued his verbal abuse of the officer and was finally advised that he was under arrest for disorderly conduct. Ianni then directed appellant to a nearby police car. Appellant continued to shout and turned suddenly and punched Ianni in the face. He was restrained by the police and taken into custody.

Appellant was charged with disorderly conduct, a violation of a city ordinance. At a summary proceeding, appellant entered a plea of guilty to the charge and was fined. He did not appeal that conviction. Appellant was also indicted on charges of resisting arrest and assault and battery. A jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts.

Although appellant raises a number of contentions, only two merit consideration. Appellant first argues that the disorderly conduct statute under which he was arrested is unconstitutionally vague; that an arrest for a violation thereof is thus unlawful; and, consequently, that his conviction for resisting arrest and assault and

[ 227 Pa. Super. Page 296]

    battery must be vacated. Appellant's second contention is that his trial for resisting arrest and assault and battery placed him twice in jeopardy, and was in violation of the rule announced by the Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Campana, 452 Pa. 233, 304 A.2d 432 (1973).

I

Appellant cites numerous Supreme Court decisions*fn1 which have declared various ordinances violative of the due process clause because of their breadth and vagueness. These cases, however, involve the reversal of convictions for violations of such ordinances. They do not support appellant's contention that the vagueness of the ordinance gives rise to a right to violently resist an arrest for conduct which an ...


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