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Name: United States v. Terry-Crespo
Case #: 03-30085
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/29/2004
Subsequent History: None

A non-anonymous call to 911 provided sufficient indicia of reliability to provide police with reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop. At a hearing on the defendant’s motion to suppress, it was established that a witness had called 911 to report that a man had just threatened him with a .45 caliber handgun. The caller described the suspect’s appearance in some detail. The caller also provided his own name but did not provide a phone number, and appeared to want to avoid police contact. In a subsequent call, the caller gave the dispatcher a location for the suspect, even though the caller claimed to be almost a mile and a half away. Officers dispatched to the area located the suspect and conducted a pat search, during which they found a .45 caliber handgun. Officers were never able to locate the 911 caller. The Ninth Circuit upheld the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress, distinguishing Florida v. J.L. (2000) 529 U.S. 266 on the grounds that the 911 call was not an anonymous tip. The court further held that a 911 call is entitled to a greater presumption of reliability than a tip concerning general criminality, because police must be able to take seriously and respond promptly to emergency 911 calls.