Com. v. Revere

CourtPennsylvania Superior Court
Writing for the CourtOLSZEWSKI, J.
Citation814 A.2d 197
Decision Date20 November 2002
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee, v. James REVERE, Appellant.

814 A.2d 197

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee,
v.
James REVERE, Appellant

Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Submitted February 11, 2002.

Filed November 20, 2002.

Reargument Denied January 27, 2003.


814 A.2d 198
Karl Baker, Philadelphia, for appellant

Catherine L. Marshall, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com.

Before: DEL SOLE, P.J.; KLEIN and OLSZEWSKI, JJ.

OLSZEWSKI, J.:

¶ 1 This case is before this Court on appeal from James Revere's (hereinafter appellant) conviction and sentence for violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. We find that appellant was not under arrest when placed in the police car and transported a short distance. As the officers believed a fellow officer was in trouble, placing appellant in the car was proper in response to those exigent circumstances. Therefore, the Terry stop was appropriate and we affirm the judgment of sentence.

¶ 2 On July 2, 1997, Officer Broderick Mason observed appellant James Revere sitting with Charles Felder and an unidentified man in the 2500 block of Chadwick Street in Philadelphia. A woman approached and gave Felder cash in exchange for several small objects taken by Felder from a plastic bag he was carrying.

¶ 3 Shortly thereafter, the three men walked around the corner. Accompanied by his partner, Officer Carl Selby, Officer Mason approached the three men. Officer Mason believed that the transaction with the woman was a drug transaction. He based this suspicion on his seven years of experience as a police officer, over sixty occasions of narcotics surveillance, and his knowledge that the area where the three

814 A.2d 199
men were located was a high drug-trafficking area

¶ 4 Upon seeing the officers approach, the unidentified man fled and two other officers pursued him. N.T. Trial, 3/3/98, at 3. Officers Selby and Mason then proceeded to conduct an investigatory stop of Felder and appellant. Shortly thereafter, before finding any contraband on Felder or appellant, Officers Selby and Mason heard the screams and shouts of the officers who had pursued the unidentified man. Id. Believing that their fellow officers were in danger, Officers Selby and Mason placed Felder and appellant in the back seat of their car, instructed them to place their hands on top of their head, and drove to where the screams had originated, which was also the location where the transaction occurred. Id.

¶ 5 Upon arriving, Officers Selby and Mason learned that the unidentified man had disappeared. They then retrieved Felder and appellant from their car and continued with the investigatory stop. While Officer Selby was frisking Felder, appellant, who had not and was not being frisked, dropped an unlicensed .38 caliber handgun down the leg of his pants and kicked it under the car. It was retrieved, at which time Officer Selby searched appellant and found three rounds of .38 caliber ammunition and $1,005 in cash on appellant's person. Trial Court Opinion, 5/29/01, at 2.

¶ 6 Following a bench trial, appellant was convicted of carrying a firearm without a license and carrying firearms on public streets or public property in Philadelphia. Id. at 1. On March 5, 2001, appellant was sentenced to nine (9) to twenty-three (23) months' incarceration followed by two (2) years' reporting probation. Id. An appeal followed concerning the suppression court's denial of appellant's motion to suppress the gun. Appellant alleged, as he does now, that he had been arrested prior to the discovery of the gun, the arrest was not supported by probable cause, and, therefore, the gun should have been suppressed.

¶ 7 The question presently before us is whether the seizure of appellant prior to the discovery of the gun was legal. In order to resolve this issue, we must answer two additional questions: To what type of seizure was appellant subjected? Was the necessary degree of suspicion present to support that stop?

¶ 8 There are three types of interactions between police and citizens for exclusionary purposes. First is the "mere encounter" which need not be supported by any cause. Commonwealth v. Watkins, 750 A.2d 308, 312 (Pa.Super.2000) (quoting Commonwealth v. Schatzel, 724 A.2d 362, 365 (Pa.Super.1998)). Second is the "investigatory detention" or "investigatory stop," which is limited in its intrusion and for which the officer must have articulable reasonable suspicion for the detention. Id. Finally, arrest, or custodial detention, encompasses all other seizures and must be supported by probable cause. Id.

¶ 9 The suppression court found that the detention of appellant was an investigatory stop...

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3 practice notes
  • Com. v. Revere
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 28, 2005
    ...order. On November 20, 2002, the panel issued a published, 2-1 decision which affirmed the judgment of sentence. Commonwealth v. Revere, 814 A.2d 197 (Pa.Super.2002). The new panel majority, in an opinion authored by the Honorable Peter Paul Olszewski, found that the circumstances surroundi......
  • Peck v. DELAWARE COUNTY BD. OF PRISON
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 31, 2002
    ...Board and appellee such that the Board is immune from appellee's negligence suit. I believe such a holding is commanded by the Act and is 814 A.2d 197 consistent with the McDonald test. Hence, I respectfully Justice SAYLOR joins this dissenting opinion. Justice CAPPY, Dissenting. I respectf......
  • Com. v. Stevenson
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Superior Court
    • February 28, 2006
    ...under the totality of the circumstances, a police detention becomes so coercive that it functions as an arrest. Commonwealth v. Revere, 814 A.2d 197, 200 (Pa.Super.2002), aff'd on other grounds ___ Pa. ___, 888 A.2d 694 (2005). The numerous factors used to determine whether a detention has ......
3 cases
  • Com. v. Revere
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 28, 2005
    ...order. On November 20, 2002, the panel issued a published, 2-1 decision which affirmed the judgment of sentence. Commonwealth v. Revere, 814 A.2d 197 (Pa.Super.2002). The new panel majority, in an opinion authored by the Honorable Peter Paul Olszewski, found that the circumstances surroundi......
  • Peck v. DELAWARE COUNTY BD. OF PRISON
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 31, 2002
    ...Board and appellee such that the Board is immune from appellee's negligence suit. I believe such a holding is commanded by the Act and is 814 A.2d 197 consistent with the McDonald test. Hence, I respectfully Justice SAYLOR joins this dissenting opinion. Justice CAPPY, Dissenting. I respectf......
  • Com. v. Stevenson
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Superior Court
    • February 28, 2006
    ...under the totality of the circumstances, a police detention becomes so coercive that it functions as an arrest. Commonwealth v. Revere, 814 A.2d 197, 200 (Pa.Super.2002), aff'd on other grounds ___ Pa. ___, 888 A.2d 694 (2005). The numerous factors used to determine whether a detention has ......

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