Burgess v. City of Virginia Beach

Citation385 S.E.2d 59,9 Va.App. 163
Decision Date19 September 1989
Docket NumberNo. 0356-87-1,0356-87-1
PartiesRobert Andrew BURGESS v. CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH. Record
CourtCourt of Appeals of Virginia

Page 59

385 S.E.2d 59
9 Va.App. 163
Robert Andrew BURGESS
Record No. 0356-87-1.
Court of Appeals of Virginia.
Sept. 19, 1989.

[9 Va.App. 164] H. Thomas Padrick, Jr. (Anderson and Padrick, Virginia Beach, on briefs), for appellant.

Leslie L. Lilley (J. Dale Bimson, City Atty., Leslie L. Lilley, Norfolk, on brief), for appellee.


HODGES, Judge.

In this appeal, Burgess challenges his convictions under three separate city ordinances: (1) profanely swearing or cursing in public, City Code § 23-22; (2) improper driving (lesser included offense under charge of reckless driving, City Code § 21-311); and (3) using abusive language, City Code § 23-12. He was fined a total of $300.00. Finding that City Code § 23-22 is unconstitutional, we reverse his conviction of profanely swearing or cursing in public. We, however, affirm Burgess' other convictions on the grounds that there was sufficient evidence to prove his guilt. Burgess' convictions were based on two separate incidents.

The evidence disclosed that at 1:20 a.m. on the morning of October 27, 1986, Officer K.W. Boekweg of the Virginia Beach Police Department observed Burgess' Chevrolet Blazer with its emergency flashers blinking parked on the wrong side of the street in front of the 18th Street police station in the Oceanfront section of Virginia Beach. Burgess asked Officer Boekweg for assistance with his flashers. When Officer Boekweg could not stop the flashers from blinking, he advised Burgess to check his Owner's Manual since he was not an electrician and could not help him. Officer Boekweg further advised Burgess that his vehicle was illegally parked and that he would have to move it if he was going to continue[9 Va.App. 165] to work on it.

After Officer Boekweg returned to his police car which was parked directly behind Burgess' vehicle, Burgess started his vehicle, revved up the engine two or three times, and spun his tires on the wet pavement for approximately thirty to fifty feet.

Page 60

Officer Boekweg followed him, stopped him a short distance away, obtained his driver's license and registration card, and advised him that he was issuing him a summons for reckless driving. While Burgess was standing in the open door of his vehicle talking to a companion, Officer Boekweg heard him say in a raised voice, "I hate f______ cops, and he's an asshole, too." Four other persons were standing in the area. In addition to reckless driving, Officer Boekweg charged Burgess with profane swearing.

Burgess admitted making the statement. He, however, testified that he intended to communicate it only to his companion to vent his frustration. He had not meant for Officer Boekweg to hear him.

On November 1, 1986, Burgess was arrested for using abusive language. In the early morning hours, Officer K.W. Hannah and other officers were attempting to control the overflow from a large Halloween party held near the intersection of 74th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Driving by in his Blazer at about 30 miles per hour, Burgess stuck his head out of the window and yelled, "F______ cops." Officer Hannah pursued him and charged him with using abusive language.

First, City Code § 23-22, which parallels the language of Code § 18.2-388, provides in pertinent part: "If any person profanely curses or swears or be drunk in public, he shall be guilty of a Class IV misdemeanor." Burgess argues that the ordinance is overbroad, vague, and susceptible of application to protected speech in violation of the first and fourteenth amendments and, thus, unconstitutional. Finding that we are bound by Gooding v. Wilson, 405 U.S. 518, 92 S.Ct. 1103, 31 L.Ed.2d 408 (1972), and...

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9 cases
  • Price v. State, 49A02-9109-CR-378
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 14 Septiembre 1992
    ...549 N.E.2d 1166, 1171; City of Maryville v. Costin (1991) Mo.Ct.App., 805 S.W.2d 331, 332; Burgess v. City of Virginia Beach (1989) 9 Va.App. 163, 385 S.E.2d 59, 60; but see Ross, On the other hand, the clear majority trend has recognized that "unreasonable noise" provisions which are const......
  • Hershfield v. Com., 1360-90-2
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • 5 Mayo 1992
    ...the language was not uttered in a "face-to-face" confrontation. Our holding here is not inconsistent with Burgess v. City of Va. Beach, 9 Va.App. 163, 385 S.E.2d 59 (1989). In Burgess, the defendant stuck his head out of his moving vehicle and yelled, "F___ cops," as he drove by a street co......
  • Sestito v. DeBrular, 1:09cv65.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Virginia)
    • 10 Julio 2009
    ...which cross-references § 18.2-388, should be read no differently from the state statute. See, e.g., Burgess v. City of Virginia Beach, 9 Va.App. 163, 164, 385 S.E.2d 59 (1989) (observing that city ordinance prohibiting being "drunk in public" parallels § 18.2-388). In addition, it appears o......
  • Marttila v. City of Lynchburg, Record No. 2585-99-3.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • 24 Octubre 2000
    ...to provoke a breach of the peace, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. 5. To the extent Burgess v. City of Virginia Beach, 9 Va.App. 163, 167, 385 S.E.2d 59, 61 (1989), holds law enforcement officers are not required to exercise a higher degree of restraint than ordinary citizens, w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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