An ex-convict from Aurora has been sentenced to jail in connection with an incident early last spring inside a Naperville department store, during which he damaged and made a show of smelling the lingerie being sold there.
Damien R. Dickens spent time in prison after making nearly 20 bogus 911 calls in 2005 to Naperville police and other local law enforcement agencies.
The 34-year-old Dickens pleaded guilty in DuPage County Circuit Court in Wheaton to misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct/breach of peace and criminal damage to property. Those charges stemmed from his arrest in June following the disturbance inside the Gordman’s store at 2639 Aurora Ave. on Naperville’s far west side.
Judge Alexander McGimpsey accepted Dickens’ pleas and sentenced him Aug. 29 to 104 days in DuPage County Jail, according to court records. Dickens spent 52 days in jail following his arrest, and with day-for-day credit for good behavior, has already completed that term and been released, records indicated.
Naperville police arrested Dickens about 1:31 p.m. June 1 at the Gordman’s store. Written police reports stated Dickens “alarmed and disturbed employees (and) patrons of the store by sniffing and damaging women’s underwear” that was on display there.
The incident marked the second time in six months that Dickens had been arrested under such circumstances. Plainfield police on Dec. 15 arrested him for similar conduct inside the Walmart store at 12690 S. Route 59.
A Plainfield police spokesman in December said Dickens “made several women uncomfortable with his actions” in the store’s lingerie area, actions that included making obscene gestures at them.
Police also had to deal with Dickens during a prior incident inside the Target store at 12800 S. Route 59 in Plainfield.
Dickens in 2006 was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, after being convicted of using his cell phone to make at least 19 phony 911 calls to Naperville police and 11 other law enforcement agencies in DuPage, Kendall and Will counties.
The harassing calls were made in April 2005, authorities said. He falsely reported a woman was being raped by three men in DuPage River Park in Naperville; that a service station and car wash near North Aurora Road and Route 59 in Naperville was being robbed; and that a man was being beaten by street gang members at 75th Street and Route 53 near Woodridge, among other crimes.
A Naperville police official in 2006 said all of the calls were “what you call ‘hot calls,’ where the proverbial hair on the back of your neck stands up.” Police pay rapt attention to callers in such cases and often send emergency vehicles to the scene of the incident “with their lights flashing and their sirens wailing,” the official said.
Calls went out to the Aurora, Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Glendale Heights, Lisle, Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield and Wheaton police departments; the DuPage and Will county sheriff’s offices; and DuPage County Forest Preserve District police.
Since being paroled, Dickens has spent 364 days in DuPage County Jail for a June 2009 battery in Aurora; 30 days in that jail in two, 2009 cases of criminal trespass to land and disorderly conduct in Aurora; 90 days in Kane County Jail for a January 2010 battery in St. Charles; and 220 days in DuPage County Jail on a June 2011 charge of public indecency/lewd exposure in Aurora, court records showed.