Davis Junction man arrested for allegedly throwing urine on picketer

OGLE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Things get out of hand on a picket line in Ogle County when a man allegedly throws urine at a picketer.

We all have the right to exercise our first amendment rights to peacefully assemble however according to the Ogle County Sheriff's department one man took things too far landing him in jail.

Ed Maher spokesman for Operating Engineers Local 150 says the union is picketing for unfair labor practices by D&E Underground. Maher says last week the union filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board after he says a D&E Underground employee was fired for inquiring about a union membership.

Maher says the union is picketing at D&E Underground located in the 13,000 block of East Route 72 in Davis Junction. He says a member of the union did have urine thrown on him. He calls the actions absolutely disgusting and unacceptable.

D&E Underground released a statement saying, "We would be absolutely unable to compete in the marketplace if we add the restrictions of the union contract; including high benefit costs. Our employees understand this business reality and want nothing to do with operating engineers local 150. The union has stopped a scheduled election which we believe is the proper way to solve this issue. Instead, the union has engaged in a campaign of harassment of our employees. All of this will end soon and everyone is looking forward to getting back to business as usual and serving our customers."

The Ogle County State's Attorney office has confirmed the man arrested as 24 year old Joseph Simmons of Davis Junction.

The Ogle County Sheriff's office says Simmons was arrested for battery on Wednesday. He has since bonded out.