United States v. Davis, 081109 FED6, 07-4163

Docket Nº:07-4163
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DANTE DAVIS, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:August 11, 2009
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit



DANTE DAVIS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 07-4163

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

August 11, 2009


On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Before: BOGGS, Chief Judge; BATCHELDER and COOK, Circuit Judges.


Dante Davis appeals the denial of his motion to suppress a gun found in his car. We affirm the judgment of the district court because the police reasonably, though erroneously, suspected that Davis was an armed fugitive, and therefore they were constitutionally permitted to detain him and search his car for weapons.


On December 13, 2006, the Cincinnati police sought a search warrant for a building at 7979 Reading Road based on information that Calvin Ruffin, an armed and dangerous fugitive with multiple outstanding felony arrest warrants, frequented the building and would be there that night. While the request for the warrant was pending, the police watched the building using several unmarked cars. To help them identify Ruffin, the surveillance team was given a black- and-white copy of his picture and told that he was "five-nine, 170, 180 pounds, male black, black hair, brown eyes," with a "darker complexion."

Around 9 p.m., a black GMC Yukon SUV with darkly tinted windows arrived. The driver, a black male matching Ruffin's description, got out of the Yukon and hurried into the building. Several minutes later, he came back out and drove off. An unmarked car driven by officers Deon Mack and Phil Hermann followed him.

After speeding through a residential neighborhood for approximately half a mile, the Yukon pulled into an apartment complex's parking lot. The driver got out of the Yukon, leaving the door open, and began walking to the front of the vehicle. Suspecting that the driver was Ruffin, Mack and Hermann decided to make a "high-risk stop." Leaving their car on the street, the officers approached the driver with their weapons drawn, yelling "Cincinnati Police, stop!" and ordering the driver to get down on the ground. He complied.

While Hermann provided cover, Mack handcuffed the driver, frisked him, and informed him that he was being detained. The officers were unable to determine if anyone else was in the Yukon because of the darkly tinted windows, so Mack pulled the driver to his feet and backed him away from the SUV. Hermann took control of the driver, and Mack walked around the Yukon with his gun drawn so that he could look through the windshield and see if anyone else was in the car. Mack saw no one, so he went back to the open driver's-side door and, looking in, saw a handgun in the console's cupholder.

Mack walked back to the driver and informed him that he was under arrest. The officers then...

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