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Name: In re Richard G.
Case #: B209512
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 05/12/2009

A phone call describing suspects causing a disturbance was sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion to warrant a detention. Police officers Mora and Alva responded to a call that two males, wearing specified clothing, were causing a disturbance, and that one of them possibly had a gun. Earlier that week, Officer Mora had responded to another call of a shooting at the same residence and had seized two guns. The officers saw two females with two males wearing clothing matching the description in a park near the residence. They ordered them to stop, and then ordered them to sit on the ground. Neither order was obeyed, and appellant threatened the officer. Officer Mora grabbed appellant to place him in a control hold, and was punched. Appellant was eventually arrested. Appellant moved to suppress evidence of his statements and conduct during the detention because Officer Mora lacked reasonable suspicion to detain him. The trial court denied the motion and appellant pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and resisting an officer. On appeal, appellant argued that the juvenile court erred by denying his motion to suppress because the evidence was insufficient to support the detention and search for weapons. The appellate court rejected the argument. An anonymous caller gave a contemporaneous report of a late night disturbance involving a firearm that occurred in front of a residence located in known gang territory. The caller described the individuals and their clothing. Only days before officers had found guns at the same residence. The stop and frisk was warranted. Appellant also contended that the trial court erred because the prosecution did not comply with the Harvey-Madden rule because it did not establish the source of the information on which the arresting officer relied. (People v. Harvey (1958) 156 Cal.App.2d 516, People v. Madden (1970) 2 Cal.3d 1017.) The appellate court rejected that argument as well. Where, as here, the evidence and reasonable inferences flowing from it show that the police dispatcher actually received a telephone report creating a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing, it is not necessary to require strict compliance with the Harvey-Madden rule. Further, the police officers’ observations were not the result of a Fourth Amendment violation, but were observations made about a crime committed after the detention.