Riddick v. State

Citation571 A.2d 1239,319 Md. 180
Decision Date01 September 1989
Docket NumberNo. 84,84
PartiesQuincy RIDDICK v. STATE of Maryland. ,
CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland

Jose Felipe Anderson, Asst. Public Defender (Alan H. Murrell, Public Defender, both on brief), Baltimore, for petitioner.

Ann N. Bosse, Asst. Atty. Gen. (J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Atty. Gen., both on brief), Baltimore, for respondent.

Argued before ELDRIDGE, COLE, RODOWSKY, McAULIFFE, ADKINS and CHASANOW, JJ., and CHARLES E. ORTH, Jr., Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals (retired, Specially Assigned).

CHARLES E. ORTH, Jr., Judge, Specially Assigned.


The police authorities of Baltimore City became aware that "New York City is a common source city for heroin and cocaine." And they knew that "a very popular way for transporting the narcotics from New York City to Baltimore was by way of Amtrak." So the tactic was adopted of assigning police officers with expertise in the field of controlled dangerous substances to the train station at 1301 North Charles Street to meet the incoming trains from New York City. One of these squads was composed of Detectives Christopher Rayburn, Dorsey McVicker, and Glenn Olivi. The routine was for them to select a person leaving the train from New York City, approach that person, identify themselves, explain that there were problems "with persons bringing narcotics into the City of Baltimore," and ask if the person minded talking to them. According to Rayburn, the person could refuse to talk, and, absent due cause, was free to leave at any time.


On 21 April 1987 Quincy Riddick, also known as Quincy Latimer, had boarded the Metroliner in New York City and disembarked in Baltimore late in the afternoon at the Charles Street train station. As he walked toward the exit, carrying a duffel bag slung from his shoulder, Rayburn, McVicker, and Olivi approached him. The result of the accosting was that Riddick was arrested, charged with unlawfully possessing heroin with an intent to distribute and unlawfully bringing heroin into Maryland, convicted at a court trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, and sentenced to seven years on each conviction, the sentences to run concurrently. On direct appeal, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed the judgments. Riddick v. State, 79 Md.App. 375, 556 A.2d 1153 (1989). Riddick sought review by this Court by a petition for a writ of certiorari. The State filed a conditional cross-petition. We granted both petitions and ordered the case to be certified to us. The questions presented went to Riddick's right to be secure in his person, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and made applicable to State prosecutions by Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684, 6 L.Ed.2d 1081 (1961). The issue was preserved for appellate review by the trial judge's denial of Riddick's pretrial motion to suppress the evidence seized from him by the police.


When the question is whether a constitutional right, such as the one here, has been violated, we make our own independent constitutional appraisal. We make the appraisal by reviewing the law and applying it to the peculiar facts of the particular case. State v. Gee, 298 Md. 565, 571, 471 A.2d 712, cert. denied, 467 U.S. 1244, 104 S.Ct. 3519, 82 L.Ed.2d 827 (1984). When the facts are in dispute, we accept them as found by the trial judge unless he is clearly erroneous in his judgment on the evidence before him. In ascertaining whether he is clearly erroneous, we give "due regard to the opportunity of the trial court to judge the credibility of the witnesses," as commanded by Md.Rule 8-131(c). When the question of the dishonor of a constitutional right arises by the denial of a motion to suppress, the relevant facts which we consider "are limited to those produced at the suppression hearing, see Trusty v. State, 308 Md. 658, 521 A.2d 749 (1987), which are most favorable to the State as the prevailing party on the motion." Simpler v. State, 318 Md. 311, 312, 568 A.2d 22 (1990).

The plenary hearing on the motion was meticulous in detail and comprehensive in scope. Although testimonial evidence was adduced from only two witnesses, Rayburn for the State and Riddick for the defense, the hearing consumed seven days and the transcript of the proceedings covered some 328 pages. The witnesses were fully probed on direct examination and on cross-examination. The arguments of counsel were thorough and backed by citation to cases relating to the issue. The rulings by the judge were carefully considered and fully explained. At one point, the judge observed that this was not going to be a "boiler-plate" hearing, and indeed, it was not.


The incident which determined the fate of Riddick may be divided into three phases: the accosting, the retreat to an "interview room," and the events in the interview room. The testimony of Rayburn and Riddick gave diametric versions of what occurred during each phase. The judge, as was his duty, judged the credibility of the witnesses, sifted their disparate versions, and, in the main, accepted Rayburn's version as the correct one. Our statements of the facts from time to time are as Rayburn recounted them. And we accept the judge's findings of fact as not clearly erroneous unless otherwise noted.


The officers selected Riddick to accost because, in Rayburn's words,

of all the totality, the luggage that he had, the appearance he was nervous as he was walking, looking around the station. He was walking at a very fast pace through the station. Those things totalled together are what we saw in Mr. Riddick.

Rayburn approached him from the rear, passed him, turned and faced him. McVicker and Olivi stayed to the side. Rayburn was about a yard away, close enough so Riddick could see and hear him, but, for the officer's safety, "not directly in his face." The officers identified themselves as "police officers of Baltimore Drug Enforcement" and displayed their badges. The officers were armed but no weapon was displayed. The judge summarized Rayburn's testimony as to what happened next:

[Rayburn] asked [Riddick] if he would mind talking to [the officers] and [Riddick] at that point continued to look around and shake. He was moving around. They asked to speak to him. He said he would. They asked him where he was coming from. He said New York. They asked him how long he was going to be here. He said a couple of days. They said why. He said he was visiting a girlfriend. [Rayburn] said [Riddick] became more nervous and began fooling with his duffel bag which the officers focused on and it did not appear to be filled with clothes.

The judge found that the accosting of Riddick was not constitutionally offensive.


The officers desired to talk further to Riddick in a place more private than the middle of the train station lobby. The judge said:

These officers having learned from ... experience asked [Riddick] if he would mind going with them to the interview room, obviously because of his nervousness on the concourse and because of their own concern. He advised no problem.

The officers conducted Riddick to the interview room.

The procedure of interviewing Riddick in a private place "bothered [the judge] a little bit," 1 but he ultimately held that Riddick went willingly.


We are constrained to point out that a matter of the alleged seizure of Riddick's wallet was not mentioned by the judge in his rulings on the accosting and the retreat to the interview room. Riddick testified that when he was accosted, Rayburn asked him for some identification. Riddick took his wallet from his hip pocket and showed Rayburn "some identification." Rayburn said, "Give me your wallet." According to Riddick, the officer did not return it. The wallet contained Riddick's driver's license, two train ticket stubs from New York to Baltimore (one for the day of the accosting), and other personal papers. Riddick's insistence that the wallet was not returned to him was evidenced by the fact that it and the driver's license and other personal papers in it were subsequently found to be stored in a police department evidence room.

The wallet first became an issue in connection with a ticket stub evidencing that Riddick had come from New York City. Rayburn at first testified that, when Riddick was ultimately arrested, among the items the police recovered from him were "ticket stubs from New York to Baltimore on the Amtrak train." The matter of the ticket stubs and wallet came up at various times during Rayburn's testimony at the hearing. He was asked by defense counsel, "Did you ask to see his ticket in the lobby?" Rayburn replied, "We asked him where he was coming from. He stated it was New York. He was in town for a couple of days." The court stepped in. The transcript reads:

THE COURT: The specific question was did you at any time in the lobby ever ask him to produce his ticket so you could see it?

THE WITNESS: No. I don't believe so.

Q. Can you be sure about that, sir?

A. Let me refer back to my notes. I don't have it in my notes as I was asking him that.

Q. If I were to tell you that the Defendant maintains that he was asked to give you his ticket, would you say that that would be an incorrect statement on his part or you can't say one way or the other?

A. I can't say one way or the other.

Q. Is it possible then that you obtained his ticket in the lobby and held on to it as you went back into the interview room?

A. Again, I don't know.

Q. Where is his ticket now?

A. I'll refer to my notes. I believe it's in our Evidence Control Section--

Q. But you have no information recorded to state with some degree of accuracy when and under what circumstances that ticket was obtained? I'm asking.

The judge interjected:

THE COURT: The more important question is do you remember when and under what circumstances the ticket came into police custody? Was it in...

To continue reading

Request your trial
153 cases
  • McMillian v. State, 260
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1990
    ...have infringed upon his or her constitutional rights, we must make our own "independent constitutional appraisal." Riddick v. State, 319 Md. 180, 571 A.2d 1239 (1990); Borgen v. State, 58 Md.App. 61, 79, 472 A.2d 114 (1984). To do so, we review[ ] the law and apply[ ] it to the peculiar fac......
  • Tu v. State, 147
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...at the suppression hearing, standing alone. McMillian v. State, 325 Md. 272, 281, 600 A.2d 430, 434-35 (1992); Riddick v. State, 319 Md. 180, 183, 571 A.2d 1239, 1240 (1990); Trusty v. State, 308 Md. 658, 670-72, 521 A.2d 749, 755-56 (1987). The foregoing description of the State's acquisit......
  • North River Ins. Co. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1995
    ...Court has consistently held that the findings of fact made by trial courts are entitled to great deference. E.g., Riddick v. State, 319 Md. 180, 183, 571 A.2d 1239, 1240 (1990); McAvoy v. State, 314 Md. 509, 514-15, 551 A.2d 875, 877 (1989); In Re Anthony F, 293 Md. 146, 152, 442 A.2d 975, ......
  • Whittlesey v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1991
    ...of the propriety of the denial of the motion to dismiss by applying the relevant law to the given facts. See Riddick v. State, 319 Md. 180, 183, 571 A.2d 1239 (1990) and cases cited The challenge to the murder indictment relies only on the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. This......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT