COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man with a fast-growing arrest record for ripping off Chicago hotels angered a judge Monday when she accused him of making a gesture in court signaling he was "bored" by allegations that he spent a number of days at the River North Westin on someone else's dime.
"Let the record reflect that the defendant sighed and put his hand over his mouth ... in the universal [signal for] 'I'm bored,'" Judge Peggy Chiampas said, warning the man standing before her that he could be held in jail for criminal contempt of court. "That's not appropriate in my courtroom."
Phillip David Butler, 48, was arrested and charged with trespassing and theft by deception after he snuck into a room at the Westin, 320 N. Dearborn St., on Thursday soon after the real hotel guest checked out, prosecutors said.
Butler allegedly convinced a cleaning crew to let him in room 206, say it was his room.
He then called from the room phone and told the front desk that he would be extending his stay, prosecutors said.
A few days later, after Butler had allegedly racked up a $1,400 bill, the real guest noticed the Westin charges on her credit card, according to a police report. She reported the alleged fraud, and Butler was arrested as he was leaving the room on Sunday.
Butler reacted smugly when he was arrested, telling authorities that he was not concerned because the alleged theft would be charged as a misdemeanor, prosecutors said.
Butler may have come to such a conclusion, prosecutors said, because he has been previously charged in two similar cases, one in July and a second in January.
Judge Chiampas ordered Butler held on $100,000 bail.