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Name: People v. Rodriguez
Case #: B234642
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/30/2012

Appellant’s flight from officers, coupled with tossing an object during a pursuit, provided reasonable suspicion for a detention in the context of resisting an officer. A jury convicted appellant of resisting an officer. On appeal he challenged the sufficiency of the evidence that his detention was lawful. Affirmed. Appellant was a passenger in a car that fled from officers who were attempting to stop it for a traffic violation. He bailed from the car and ran. As he fled, appellant ignored police commands to stop and tossed an object over a fence. When apprehended he resisted the officer. The crime of resisting an officer by force (Pen. Code, § 69) requires that the officer be engaged in the lawful performance of his duties. Thus, the officer must have had legal cause, i.e., reasonable suspicion, to detain. Although the court generally decides whether an officer’s action was supported by legal cause, disputed facts bearing on this issue must be submitted to the jury, which occurred here. Flight from an officer is a proper consideration. Here, appellant’s behavior was suggestive of wrongdoing and supported a reasonable suspicion to detain him.