In the Matter of: T.T.E., ____ N.C. App. ____ (July 17, 2018)

There is a dissent
in part, regarding vacating the adjudication for disorderly conduct.
  • Facts: The incident occurred at school and began with the juvenile throwing a chair in the cafeteria. The School Resource Officer (SRO) testified that no one was hit by the chair, nor did he see anyone who could have been hit by the chair. After throwing the chair the juvenile ran from the cafeteria and the SRO followed him. The SRO came up quietly behind the juvenile and grabbed him. The juvenile yelled “no” and cursed, and subsequently explained that he had been playing with his brother in the cafeteria. He was adjudicated delinquent for disorderly conduct and resisting a public officer.
  • Opinion: The evidence, even when considered in the light most favorable to the State as required on appeal, did not support adjudication on either charge. Disorderly conduct requires evidence of a public disturbance in which the juvenile engaged in 1) fighting; 2) other violent conduct; or 3) conduct creating the threat of imminent fighting or other violence. G.S. 14-288.4(a)(1). The evidence was not sufficient to establish fighting, violence, or the imminent threat thereof. “Throwing a single chair with no other person nearby and without attempting to hit another person and without hitting even any other item in the cafeteria is not disorderly conduct as defined by North Carolina General Statue § 14-288.4(a)(1).” Slip. Op. at 7. Adjudication for resisting a public officer requires: “(1) that the victim was a public officer; (2) that the defendant knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that the victim was a public officer; (3) that the victim was discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office; (4) that the defendant resisted, delayed, or obstructed the victim in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office; and (5) that the defendant acted willfully and unlawfully, that is intentionally and without justification or excuse.” Slip Op. at 8. Evidence did not show that the juvenile knew or had reasonable grounds to know that the person grabbing him was a public officer, that the juvenile resisted, delayed, or obstructed the SRO, nor that the juvenile acted willfully and unlawfully, as testimony established that the SRO intentionally snuck up behind the juvenile and the juvenile merely cursed and quickly returned to calm.
Criminal Offenses
Disorderly Conduct at School
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