Friday, November 16, 2012

"Headlong flight" Supported Seizure

US v. Guardado, No. 11-4169 (Utah), 11/15/12 (Published) - Denial of motion to suppress gun found on defendant after cops tackled him after “headlong flight” affirmed. Cop on patrol sees group of four suspected gang members walking at 1 am in high crime area, where pedestrian traffic is sparse at that time of day and in which a tagging war had been going on among rival gangs. One is wearing a backpack, suggesting he’s carrying tagging equipment (or his textbooks?). Cop decides to talk to them, and backup shows up. One of the group yells “cops” and defendant takes off running, with hand in front, suggesting trying to conceal something or retrieve weapon. Totality of the circumstances justified seizure, measured at the time of the tackle, which is when defendant is deemed seized. Emphasizing that point might be why this otherwise unremarkable opinion got published.