In re D.E., 876-2021

CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtShaw, J.
PartiesIN RE: D.E.
Docket Number876-2021
Decision Date09 June 2022

IN RE: D.E.

No. 876-2021

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

June 9, 2022


Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County Case No. C-02-JV-21-28

Shaw, Tang, Albright, JJ.

OPINION [*]

Shaw, J.

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This appeal stems from the denial of a motion to suppress by the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. Appellant was charged, as a juvenile[1], with handgun offenses resulting from the seizure of a gun found in his possession during a stop and frisk by police. Following the magistrate's recommended denial of his motion to suppress, Appellant entered a plea of not involved with an agreed statement of facts and the magistrate recommend that he be found involved in the delinquent acts.[2] Appellant noted exceptions and an on-the-record hearing was held on July 26, 2021, where a circuit court judge denied his motion to suppress and overruled the exceptions. Appellant timely appealed and presents a single question for our review:

1. Did the court err in denying Appellant's motion to suppress
For reasons discussed below, we affirm

BACKGROUND

During the suppression hearing held before a magistrate on April 28, 2021, the State called several witnesses to testify, including Scott Harold, Officer Edwin Glenn, and Corporal Jimmy McGriff. A 911 call from February 9, 2021 was introduced into evidence, where an anonymous tipster from the Bay Ridge Gardens Community provided information:

911 OPERATOR: Annapolis City, 9-1-1. What's the location you need the police
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 15 Marcs Court, Bay Ridge.
911 OPERATOR: What's the - what's going on there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some guys are out front arguing and one of them pulled out a gun.
911 OPERATOR: Okay. How many subjects are there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like five of them. They're all like - they're in like a Ford silver car sitting next to like a truck. A work - well, a work-type van.
911 OPERATOR: In a work-type-do you know what color the van is?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is-it's white.
911 OPERATOR: White. And do you know which person had the handgun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a guy - he has on like [a] face mask. [3]
911 OPERATOR: Is he from the Ford or is he from the truck? Or you're not sure?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're like standing around the car. The car is on. One of the guys was sitting in the car and they're all like around the car.
911 OPERATOR: Okay. And do you know what they are arguing over, by any chance?
UNIDENITIED MALE: Huh?
911 OPERATOR: Do you know what they're arguing over? Or you can just hear them?
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what they were arguing about. I just heard somebody yelling. And when I looked outside somebody was holding a firearm in his hand [].
911 OPERATOR: Okay. Can you describe who had the firearm out of the group?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy-he has a face mask. He's the only one with a face mask.
911 OPERATOR: All the rest do not have face masks on?
UNIDENITIED MALE: Yeah.
911 OPERATOR: And are they White, Black, or Hispanic males?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're all Black.
911 OPERATOR: All Black males. Okay, hon. We'll get somebody - and do you have any idea what they're arguing over? Do you know them at all or no? You just -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea.
911 OPERATOR: You just drew their attention hearing them outside arguing? Okay, hon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
911 OPERATOR: We'll get - and they're still staying out there now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. They're standing out there right now.

The caller was not asked, and did not voluntarily provide his name, but his phone number was recorded and retained by the 911 system. The dispatcher relayed this information to police a few seconds later:

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17, 13, and 14, in the parking lot of 15 Marcs Court for an armed subject. It should be a group of five number one males. All of them-the one-the subject with the handgun has a face mask. The other four do not have masks on. They're standing near a Ford silver vehicle and a work truck, light work truck. The caller is not sure what they're arguing over or why a handgun was displayed. Go ahead and make-. . . You guys don't have to code to spook the guy. Just get there quickly.

Scott Harold, a camera monitor for the Annapolis Police Department, testified that he was working on that date, when, "[t]here was a call for several subjects armed with a gun on Marcs Court." He "switched to the Marcs camera and . . . saw the subjects as [they were] . . . described by the caller. They were standing between a van and a Ford Explorer." He "saw about three or four individual[s] standing in between the van and the Explorer." According to Harold, "it was seconds" between the time that he "heard that dispatch" and the time that he "pulled up the cameras" for Marcs Court. Harold testified that he conveyed information to the officers, as they were responding, "warn[ing] them 'over the radio' that when they turned into . . . Bens [Drive], they wouldn't be able to see the subject[s] in between the van and the Explorer." Harold confirmed that the cameras were operated by a private security firm and other than his ability to "zoom in," the cameras were not operated or manipulated by the Annapolis Police Department.

Officer Edwin Glenn from the Annapolis Police Department was working patrol that night and heard the call. He testified that he had responded to calls in the area before, and that "[a] lot of . . . [his] calls in that area are for violent crimes, drugs, and weapons possessions." Officer Glenn testified that Harold gave "a description of the vehicle and the subjects" and stated "he saw a group of subjects standing by a vehicle which was

5

described in the call[]." He further testified that he heard the dispatcher relay, "[g]enerally, it was an armed subject in the area, who was, I think wearing all black, [and] had displayed a weapon, the caller had seen[.]" He recalled that the suspect was described as wearing "all black with a mask[] . . . ." Glenn advised the units that were responding not to enter the area until he arrived to "make sure that [they] . . . went in an organized fashion for the safety of the officer[s] and the civilians in the area." He estimated that it took him "a minute and a half, two minutes . . . on the longer end" to arrive. Moreover, Officer Glenn testified that the other officers' exchange with the dispatcher was recorded: "[o]ne officer, ask[ed], [d]o we have anything other than a guy with a mask?" "The dispatcher answer[ed], Five males, all black, subject with a mask on had the handgun. That's all."

When Officer Glenn arrived, other officers were "making contact with the subjects at the stop[.]" He "saw [a] . . . young man walking towards . . . [him], who . . . match[ed] the description that was given of the armed subject," "[w]earing all black with a mask." According to Officer Glenn, the subject, later identified as Appellant, "was intently looking back and walking away from the area . . . he didn't . . . pay [Officer Glenn] any attention right away because he was looking back at the other officers." Officer Glenn stated that he "started giving . . . [Appellant] commands, and drew his attention straight to[wards]" him. At that time, he saw that Appellant "was looking around, kind of moving his hands. He had[] his hands . . . up," but in Officer Glenn's opinion, he was "in between putting them down, [and] running . . . ." Officer Glenn's commands included telling Appellant to "[g]et on the ground" and "[y]ou will be shot."

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Officer Glenn testified that based on his "training, knowledge, and experience," he concluded that "it seemed . . . [like Appellant] was looking for an escape route." He gave certain commands based on his knowledge "that subjects that are armed usually conceal [weapons] in their dip [sic] area, or waistband area, whatever you want to call it. And if [he] can get [them] . . . on the ground, then [they're] . . . less of a threat to" him. Officer Glenn further testified that he perceived Appellant as a threat to him based upon the substance of the call. Appellant complied with Officer Glenn's commands, "he was proned [sic] out on the ground, his hands were able to be seen." Officer Glenn "left . . . [Appellant] to be controlled by Officer McGriff." Officer Glenn identified Appellant as the subject "who was armed with a handgun."

On cross-examination, Officer Glenn confirmed that the area he responded to is a multi-family apartment complex. He also confirmed that at the time of the incident, there was a mask mandate in effect. Officer Glenn reviewed the CAD[4] notes of the description relayed that night and confirmed the notes did not contain a description that the "person was wearing all black[.]" He acknowledged that while Appellant was walking towards him and looking back, there were police officers and cars "[i]n front and in back of him[.]" According to Officer Glenn, from where Appellant was positioned, he could not have seen other persons being detained behind him "because they were actually being covered by the white box truck." His body-camera footage shows another person being seized by police behind Appellant.

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Corporal Jimmy McGriff from the Annapolis Police Department testified that he was working in the Robinwood area, which "is probably about a mile and a half, two miles from Marcs [C]ourt." Corporal McGriff stated he heard dispatch announce that a call had been received regarding "15 Marcs Court around 9:00, 9:30 . . . for four or five subjects standing around an SUV. One of the subjects was armed with a gun, subject was wearing a black mask, all black as I can remember." He noted, based on his prior experience, the "area is a violent crime area[.]"

When Corporal McGriff arrived at the location, he "saw approximately three or four officers engaging with...

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