State v. Beccaria, 062917 WACA, 34979-9-III

Docket Nº:34979-9-III, 34992-6-III
Opinion Judge:Fearing, C.J.
Party Name:STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent, v. COLIN BLAINE BECCARIA, Appellant.
Judge Panel:WE CONCUR: Siddoway, J., Pennell, J.
Case Date:June 29, 2017
Court:Court of Appeals of Washington




Nos. 34979-9-III, 34992-6-III

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

June 29, 2017


Fearing, C.J.

Officer Joseph O'Connell espied heroin in Colin Beccaria's car after O'Connell approached the car and ordered Beccaria to stop. Beccaria challenges his conviction for possession of the heroin on the ground that O'Connell lacked cause to detain him. We disagree and affirm Beccaria's conviction.


This prosecution arises from Puyallup Tribal Police Officer Joseph O'Connell's arrest of Colin Beccaria in the early morning of August 7, 2015. By that date, O'Connell had eight years of experience as a patrol officer. Colin Beccaria only assigns error to the trial court's denial of his CrR 3.6 suppression motion. Therefore, we outline the facts presented during the suppression hearing.

While working the night shift on August 6-7, Officer Joseph O'Connell drove alone in his patrol car. At around 1:00 a.m., O'Connell noticed a 1990s Honda Accord bearing what the officer discerned to be a sham temporary license plate. Thieves target 1990s model Hondas and place forged temporary license plates on the stolen vehicles. A driver occupied the Honda, though the vehicle was parked in a driveway facing toward the accompanying house. O'Connell saw a female standing in front of a bedroom window at the end of the driveway. O'Connell suspected a possible burglary in progress.

Officer Joseph O'Connell stopped and exited his patrol car without activating his patrol lights. As O'Connell exited his car, the female walked away from the house and the parked Honda. O'Connell ordered the lady to stand at the back of the Honda, hands on the rear of the car, while he spoke with the person sitting inside the vehicle. As O'Connell approached the driver's side door of the Honda, Colin Beccaria exited the vehicle. O'Connell ordered Beccaria to stop. As Beccaria exited the Honda, O'Connell saw a bullet and heroin on the driver's seat. O'Connell handcuffed and arrested Beccaria.

Officer Joseph O'Connell called for assistance and Sergeant Paul Herrera arrived. With his flashlight, O'Connell peered through the Honda's windows and glimpsed a gun protruding from under the driver's seat. The officers obtained a warrant to search the Honda, and O'Connell seized the firearm.


The State of Washington charged Colin Beccaria with unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree, unlawful possession of a controlled substance...

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