State v. Droogs, 082819 IDCCA, 45852

Docket Nº:45852
Opinion Judge:BRAILSFORD, JUDGE.
Party Name:STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. STEVEN PATRICK DROOGS, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Maya P. Waldron, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Andrew V. Wake, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Judge Panel:Chief Judge GRATTON and Judge LORELLO CONCUR.
Case Date:August 28, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Idaho
 
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STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,

v.

STEVEN PATRICK DROOGS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 45852

Court of Appeals of Idaho

August 28, 2019

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Richard S. Christensen, District Judge.

Judgment of conviction and unified sentence of sixteen years, with a minimum period of confinement of six years, for battery with the intent to commit a serious felony, affirmed.

Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Maya P. Waldron, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Andrew V. Wake, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

BRAILSFORD, JUDGE.

Steven Patrick Droogs appeals from his judgment of conviction for battery with the intent to commit a serious felony. Droogs argues the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence after he was unlawfully detained by an officer. Droogs also argues the district court abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence. We affirm.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDUAL BACKGROUND

Deputy Larsen encountered Droogs walking alone down a rural road in a wooded area on a cold, snowy morning. Deputy Larsen initiated contact with Droogs to inquire into his well-being and to offer him a ride. Droogs responded he was on his way to a friend's house. When Deputy Larsen asked Droogs for his identification, Droogs responded that he did not have any but identified himself using a false name, Patrick Nichols. Deputy Larsen testified Droogs acted "a little bit fidgety" and "kind of nervous" as Deputy Larsen attempted to run the name Droogs gave through dispatch.

While waiting for dispatch, Deputy Larsen asked Droogs to step over to the patrol car so Deputy Larsen could check for weapons before giving Droogs a ride. Droogs did as he was asked, which included putting his hands behind his back. When Droogs did so, Deputy Larsen grabbed Droogs's hands to start a pat-down search. At that point, Droogs jerked his hands away and started running from Deputy Larsen.

Deputy Larsen followed Droogs on foot and maintained visual contact. During pursuit, Deputy Larsen repeatedly ordered Droogs to stop. At one point, Deputy Larsen unsuccessfully deployed his taser to stop Droogs. Deputy Larsen testified that, while he was pursuing Droogs, Droogs yelled expletives, said Deputy Larsen would have to kill Droogs to stop him, and said he was carrying an assault rifle.

Eventually, Droogs approached a house, communicated with one of its occupants, ran around the side of the house, and entered it. Thereafter, several other law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, including Deputy Nelson (a canine handler) and his canine (Pogo). About ninety minutes after Droogs entered the house, the occupants--other than Droogs--emerged from the house. After obtaining the owner's consent, Deputy Nelson and Pogo entered the house and located Droogs in the attic. During Deputy Nelson's attempts to remove Droogs from the attic, Droogs hit Deputy Nelson and Pogo with insulation, pushed Deputy Nelson out of the attic, punched him in the head, and attempted to choke Pogo. After being sprayed with pepper spray, Droogs was finally removed from the attic and was arrested.

The State charged Droogs with misdemeanor providing false information to a law enforcement officer, misdemeanor obstructing an officer, and felony battery on an officer and alleged Droogs is a persistent violator. Droogs filed a motion to suppress, seeking to exclude generally all "statements, observations, evidence, information or any other fruits obtained as a result of [his] detention, arrest, search, seizure, and subsequent questioning." The district court denied the motion. Although the district court ruled Deputy Larsen's initial detention of Droogs was unlawful, it concluded there was no evidence causally connected to the unlawful seizure to suppress. Further, the court concluded...

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