State v. Williams

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtBefore KING; ALCORN
Citation157 Conn. 114,249 A.2d 245
PartiesSTATE of Connecticut v. Robert WILLIAMS.
Decision Date29 October 1968

Page 245

249 A.2d 245
157 Conn. 114
STATE of Connecticut
v.
Robert WILLIAMS.
Supreme Court of Connecticut.
Oct. 29, 1968.

[157 Conn. 115]

Page 246

Bernard Green, Sp. Public Defender, for appellant (defendant).

Donald W. Browne, Asst. State's Atty., with whom, on the brief, was Otto J. Saur, State's Atty., for appellee (state).

Before [157 Conn. 114] KING, C. J., and ALCORN, HOUSE, THIM and RYAN, JJ.

[157 Conn. 115] ALCORN, Associate Justice.

The defendant was charged with having narcotic drugs in his control in violation of § 19-246 of the General Statutes, with carrying a pistol on his person without a permit in violation [157 Conn. 116] of § 29-35 of the General Statutes, and with knowingly having a weapon in a vehicle owned, operated or occupied by him in violation of § 29-38 of the General Statutes. After a trial to the court, he was convicted on all three counts and has appealed from the judgment.

The claims on the appeal are that he was subjected to an illegal search and seizure of weapons, narcotics and implements for the administration of narcotics, that he was denied a speedy trial, and that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

At 2:15 on a Sunday morning, a sergeant of the Bridgeport police department was patrolling alone in a section of Bridgeport noted for its high incidence of crimes of various kinds. There he met a person known to him and considered by him to be trustworthy and reliable who pointed to an automobile parked on the other side of the street and told him that a person seated in the vehicle was armed with a pistol at his waist and had narcotics in his possession. The defendant was the occupant of this automobile and was seated on the passenger's side of the front seat. The sergeant walked across the street, tapped on the window of the automobile and told the defendant to open the door. The defendant rolled down the window of the door, and the sergeant immediately reached directly to the defendant's waistband and removed a fully loaded, .32-caliber revolver from the waistband of the defendant's trousers. He thereupon arrested the defendant, and thereafter a search was made of the defendant and the automobile. The search disclosed another revolver in the trunk of the car, a machete under the front seat, twenty-one cellophane packets containing a white substance in the defendant's [157 Conn. 117] wallet and six similar packets in a jar in the defendant's right-hand coat pocket. Later tests of ten of the cellophane packets established that they contained heroin. In addition, the police found, in the defendant's hat, a hypodermic needle and other paraphernalia used in administering narcotics.

The claim is that the action of the police officer in taking the loaded revolver from the waistband of the defendant's trousers was an illegal search since it was done without a search warrant and was not incidental to a lawful arrest owing to the fact that the officer had neither an arrest warrant nor grounds for making an arrest without a warrant. The defendant's argument relies primarily on a claimed failure of the state to demonstrate the reliability of the officer's informant, in the light of cases such as McCray v. State of Illinois, 386 U.S. 300, 87 S.Ct. 1056, 18 L.Ed.2d 62, rehearing denied, 386 U.S. 1042, 87 S.Ct. 1474, 18 L.Ed.2d 616; Beck v. State of Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 85 S.Ct. 223, 13 L.Ed.2d 142; Aguilar v.

Page 247

State of Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S.Ct. 1509, 12 L.Ed.2d 723; and Draper v. United States, 358 U.S. 307, 79 S.Ct. 329, 3 L.Ed.2d 327. The defendant then proceeds to argue that, since the original seizure of the loaded revolver was illegal, it was not a valid basis for the arrest which followed and that the subsequent search must necessarily be invalidated because it was not incident to a legal arrest.

The argument is not persuasive. The defendant does not suggest what alternative course he thinks the officer should have followed upon receipt of the information given to him. The situation called for quick decision and prompt action. The officer, in the line of his assigned duty and in the small hours of the morning, was told by a person he considered reliable that an automobile which was pointed our to [157 Conn. 118] him was then occupied by an armed man carrying narcotics. The vehicle was parked, for no apparent reason, on a public street in a high crime area. Under those circumstances, the officer exhibited not only a correct sense of...

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29 practice notes
  • State v. Trine, No. 15277
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 12, 1996
    ...weapons. Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 24, 88 S.Ct. at 1881-82; State v. Kyles, 221 Conn. 643, 661, 607 A.2d 355 (1992); State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118-19, 249 A.2d 245 (1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 927, 89 S.Ct. 1783, 23 L.Ed.2d 244 (1969). Because a patdown search is intended to secure......
  • State v. Clark, (SC 16258)
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 30, 2001
    ...223-24; accord Terry 255 Conn. 282 v. Ohio, supra, 27; State v. Wilkins, 240 Conn. 489, 495-96, 692 A.2d 1233 (1997); State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118, 249 A.2d 245 (1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 927, 89 S. Ct. 1783, 23 L. Ed. 2d 244 (1969).392 U.S. 29; see also State v. Trine, supra, ......
  • State v. Wilkins, No. 15566
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • April 22, 1997
    ...Conn. 496] a patdown search of the individual to discover weapons. Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 24, 88 S.Ct. at 1881-82; State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118-19, 249 A.2d 245 (1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 927, 89 S.Ct. 1783, 23 L.Ed.2d 244 (1969). Additionally, under the federal constitution,......
  • State v. Johnson
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 19, 1972
    ...726; State v. Purvis, 157 Conn. 198, 204-5, 251 A.2d 178, cert. denied, 395 U.S. 928, 89 S.Ct. 1788, 23 L.Ed.2d 246; State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118, 249 A.2d 245; State v. Mariano, 152 Conn. 85, 93, 203 A.2d 305, cert. denied, 380 U.S. 943, 85 S.Ct. 1025, 13 L.Ed.2d 962. In the case ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • State v. Trine, No. 15277
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 12, 1996
    ...weapons. Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 24, 88 S.Ct. at 1881-82; State v. Kyles, 221 Conn. 643, 661, 607 A.2d 355 (1992); State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118-19, 249 A.2d 245 (1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 927, 89 S.Ct. 1783, 23 L.Ed.2d 244 (1969). Because a patdown search is intended to secure......
  • State v. Clark, (SC 16258)
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 30, 2001
    ...223-24; accord Terry 255 Conn. 282 v. Ohio, supra, 27; State v. Wilkins, 240 Conn. 489, 495-96, 692 A.2d 1233 (1997); State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118, 249 A.2d 245 (1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 927, 89 S. Ct. 1783, 23 L. Ed. 2d 244 (1969).392 U.S. 29; see also State v. Trine, supra, ......
  • State v. Wilkins, No. 15566
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • April 22, 1997
    ...Conn. 496] a patdown search of the individual to discover weapons. Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 24, 88 S.Ct. at 1881-82; State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118-19, 249 A.2d 245 (1968), cert. denied, 395 U.S. 927, 89 S.Ct. 1783, 23 L.Ed.2d 244 (1969). Additionally, under the federal constitution,......
  • State v. Johnson
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • January 19, 1972
    ...726; State v. Purvis, 157 Conn. 198, 204-5, 251 A.2d 178, cert. denied, 395 U.S. 928, 89 S.Ct. 1788, 23 L.Ed.2d 246; State v. Williams, 157 Conn. 114, 118, 249 A.2d 245; State v. Mariano, 152 Conn. 85, 93, 203 A.2d 305, cert. denied, 380 U.S. 943, 85 S.Ct. 1025, 13 L.Ed.2d 962. In the case ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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