Chicago business owner David C. Nicosia, 55, faces multiple charges after slapping and spitting on Judge Arnette Hubbard, 79, an iconic and still active community leader in the city of Chicago, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Hubbard, who is Black, was reportedly smoking a cigarette outside of the Daley Center on Monday when she walked by Nicosia, who is White. He allegedly became angry that she was smoking so close to him, according to authorities.
He angrily approached Hubbard and said, “Rosa Parks, move!” before spitting in her face.
As he began to walk away, Hubbard, who is known for her dedication to civil rights and women’s issues, followed Nicosia and called for someone to assist her. At that point, he turned around and allegedly slapped her hard across her face.
“She’s an icon in our community,” said Delores Robinson, past president of the Cook County Bar Association. “People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts should be outraged by this. Not just because of who she is but that this happened to anybody.”
Nicosia is charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime.
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Chief Judge Timothy Evans, whose offices are also in the Daley Center, declined to comment. A representative said judicial rules of conduct barred Evans from speaking about a pending criminal case.
Born in Arkansas, Hubbard graduated from Southern Illinois University and John Marshall Law School and began her legal career in 1969 working on civil rights cases, according to online biographies. As part of the city’s African-American power structure, she spent several terms on the city’s election board as well as the cable commission.
Hubbard was appointed to the bench in 1997, re-elected to a six-year term the following year and retained since in two more elections, most recently in 2010.
Nicosia is being held on $90,000 bail.