In the Matter of: T.T., ____ N.C. App. ____ (June 5, 2018)

  • Facts: The police received a report of a vehicle break-in by perpetrators who had fled on foot. An officer saw the juvenile with two other people who matched the description of the vehicle break-in perpetrators and the police stopped the group of three. When an officer with a canine arrived, the dog began to bark and the officer observed that the juvenile appeared as if he would have fled if the dog had not been present. The officer also observed that the juvenile was trying to avoid interacting with the police and making gestures toward his waistband. Based on his observations and law enforcement training and expertise, the officer frisked the juvenile and found a handgun concealed in his waistband. The juvenile was adjudicated delinquent for carrying a concealed weapon and he was placed on probation at disposition.
  • Opinion: The trial court was not required to make explicit findings of fact to support its denial of the motion to suppress because there was no material conflict in the evidence provided by the two witnesses who testified at the suppression hearing. There was sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion to stop the juvenile including that: police had received a description of three people who had broken into a car and the juvenile was in a group of three that matched the description and was close to the crime scene near the time of the crime, and the juvenile’s friend testified that the group of three started to walk away from the police when they first saw the police pull in front of them. Failure to check the box indicating the delinquency history level on the disposition order was clerical error only because the delinquency history level worksheet clearly indicated the juvenile’s delinquency history level and the disposition was accordingly imposed.
Motions to Suppress
Search and Seizure
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