State v. Robinson

Decision Date15 April 2022
Docket Number916,123
PartiesState of Kansas, Appellee, v. Bryan James Robinson, Appellant.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Kansas

State of Kansas, Appellee,
Bryan James Robinson, Appellant.

No. 123, 916

Court of Appeals of Kansas

April 15, 2022


Appeal from Marion District Court; Michael F. Powers, judge.

Barry A. Clark, of Clark & Platt, Chtd., of Manhattan, for appellant.

Natalie Chalmers, assistant solicitor general, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellee.

Before Powell, P.J., Green, J., and Richard B. Walker, S.J.


Per Curiam:

Bryan James Robinson filed a motion to suppress, arguing his traffic stop was not supported by reasonable suspicion. The district court denied the motion, and, after a bench trial on stipulated facts, Robinson was convicted for driving under the influence (DUI). Robinson now appeals the denial of his motion to suppress. After a review of the record, we affirm.


Factual and Procedural Background

Around 3:30 p.m. on March 31, 2020, Mike Blaze, in Florence, Kansas, called 911 about a suspicious silver pickup truck. The truck's driver had dogs running loose, and the driver had scared one of Blaze's neighbors. Blaze said the driver "took off like a bat out of hell" when approached and "the way he was driving, most people don't drive that fast." Blaze described the driver, the truck, and provided the truck's license plate number. Blaze reported the truck was driving east on Highway 50.

The dispatcher informed Marion County Deputy Sheriff Derek Fetrow of the report. Fetrow found the truck driving east on Highway 50, traveling 30 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour zone. Fetrow considered the speed to be a safety issue and stopped the truck. The stop turned into a DUI investigation. The driver, Robinson, was arrested and charged with a DUI.

Robinson moved to suppress the evidence from the stop, arguing Fetrow's stop was unlawful. The district court took judicial notice of its prior cases involving accidents on Highway 50, describing Robinson driving 30 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour zone as inherently dangerous. The district court found the stop was valid based on the 911 call and Robinson's slow speed and denied the motion to suppress.

Robinson moved for reconsideration. At the hearing on the motion to reconsider, the district court explained it believed that Fetrow had an obligation to investigate the report. The district court also explained that if it was not a valid investigatory stop, then there was enough to justify a public safety stop. The district court did note that Fetrow did not observe any traffic violation. The district court denied the motion to reconsider.


Robinson proceeded to a bench trial on stipulated facts. The district court found him guilty of DUI and sentenced him to jail but suspended the sentence to probation after Robinson served 90 days in jail.

Robinson timely appeals.

Did the District Court Err in Denying Robinson's Motion to Suppress?

Robinson makes two arguments to support his claim that the district court erred when it denied his motion to suppress. First, Robinson asserts the information in the 911 call did not establish reasonable suspicion warranting the traffic stop. Second, Robinson argues the district court was wrong to find the stop was also justified under the public safety stop rationale because public safety stops cannot be...

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