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Name: People v. Garry
Case #: A114235
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/13/2007

Where police officer shines light at defendant and rushes towards him absent probable cause, an unlawful detention occurred. A police officer, patrolling a “high crime area,” saw Garry standing next to a parked car for five to eight seconds. He shined his spotlight on Garry from 35 feet away and noticed he looked nervous. The officer walked briskly towards Garry and asked him if he was on probation or parole. Garry said he was on parole, and the officer decided to detain him to find out why Garry was there. The officer grabbed Garry, and he resisted, so the officer handcuffed him. He then arrested him, and searched him incident to arrest, finding 13 pieces of rock cocaine. Garry’s suppression motion was denied by the trial court, which concluded that once the officer found out Garry was on parole, he had a legal basis for the detention and parole search. The appellate court reversed the judgment. The officer’s actions were very intimidating to any reasonable person and would not lead one to believe he was free to leave or terminate the encounter. Therefore, an unlawful detention occurred prior to determining that Garry was on parole. The suppression motion should have been granted.