392 U.S. 40 (1968), 74, Peters v. New York

Docket Nº:No. 74.
Citation:392 U.S. 40, 88 S.Ct. 1912, 20 L.Ed.2d 917
Party Name:John Francis PETERS, Appellant, v. STATE of NEW YORK.
Case Date:June 10, 1968
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 40

392 U.S. 40 (1968)

88 S.Ct. 1912, 20 L.Ed.2d 917

John Francis PETERS, Appellant,



No. 74.

United States Supreme Court.

June 10, 1968

On Appeal From the Court of Appeals of New York.

For opinion of the Court see 88 S.Ct. 1889.

Page 68

Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring.

Officer Lasky testified that he resided in a multiple-dwelling apartment house in Mount Vernon, New York. His apartment was on the sixth floor. At about 1 in the afternoon, he had just stepped out of the shower and was drying himself when he heard a noise at his door. Just then his phone rang and he answered the call.

Page 69

After hanging up, he looked through the peephole of his door and saw two men, one of whom was appellant, tiptoeing out of an alcove toward the stairway. He phoned his headquarters to report this occurrence, and then put on some clothes and proceeded back to the door. This time he saw a tall man tiptoeing away from the alcove, followed by appellant, toward the stairway. Lasky came out of his apartment, slammed the door behind him, and then gave chase, gun in hand, as the two men began to run down the stairs. He apprehended appellant on the stairway between the fourth and fifth floors, and asked what he was [88 S.Ct. 1913] doing in the building. Appellant replied that he was looking for a girl friend, but refused to give her name, saying that she was a married woman. Lasky then 'frisked' appellant for a weapon, and discovered in his right pants pocket a plastic envelope. The envelope contained a tension bar, 6 picks and 2 Allen wrenches with a short leg filed down to a screwdriver edge. Appellant was subsequently convicted for possession of burglary tools.

I would hold that at the time Lasky seized appellant, he had probable cause to believe that appellant was on some kind of burglarly or housebreaking mission. [*] In my view he had probable cause to seize appellant and accordingly to conduct a limited search of his person for weapons.

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