United States v. Acosta, 100418 FED3, 17-3374

Docket Nº:17-3374
Opinion Judge:BIBAS, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. BRIAN ACOSTA, Appellant
Judge Panel:Before: HARDIMAN, KRAUSE, and BIBAS, Circuit Judges
Case Date:October 04, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

v.

BRIAN ACOSTA, Appellant

No. 17-3374

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

October 4, 2018

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) on September 7, 2018

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (D.C. No. 1:16-cr-00164-001) Honorable Christopher C. Conner District Judge

Before: HARDIMAN, KRAUSE, and BIBAS, Circuit Judges

OPINION [*]

BIBAS, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

Neither an anonymous tip nor a suspect's flight from police creates probable cause on its own. But those facts, combined with others, can add up to probable cause. That is what happened here.

Brian Acosta moved to suppress evidence that the police found, claiming that they unconstitutionally stopped, frisked, and arrested him. But the police had ample reason for their actions. They had an anonymous tip that someone matching Acosta's description was in the area with a gun; the area was known for crime; Acosta fled once he saw the police; he clutched something to his side as he ran; and during the chase, he threw away a gun that the police quickly found. So the police had reasonable suspicion for their stop and frisk, and probable cause for their arrest. We will affirm.

I. Background

This case began with a tip. One day in October 2015, around 6 p.m., Harrisburg Police Officers John Fustine and Michael Rudy were in separate unmarked cars when both heard a call from the dispatcher: a white man in a black shirt and a camouflage hat was walking near 20th Street and Kensington with a gun. Officer Fustine drove there in his unmarked car and soon spotted a man matching that description. So the officer got out of his car and followed the suspect, Acosta, on foot. Officer Fustine had arrested Acosta once before.

Officer Fustine radioed Officer Rudy, who soon arrived and started following Acosta in his unmarked car. Both officers were in uniform. And when Officer Fustine's radio went off, Acosta turned, saw him, and immediately started running away.

The officers gave chase. As Acosta fled down an alleyway, Officer Fustine noticed that...

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