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In re M.M.

September 24, 2009

IN RE M.M., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW.
THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
M.M., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County. Michael A. Knish, Temporary Judge. (Pursuant to Cal. Const., art. VI, § 21.) Reversed. (Super.Ct.No. J220179).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: McKinster, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

On April 25, 2008, an amended petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 602, subdivision (a), was filed. It charged minor, M.M., with felony vandalism under Penal Code section 594, subdivision (b)(1) (count 1) and resisting or delaying a public officer under Penal Code section 148, subdivision (a)(1) (count 2). On April 30, 2008, the prosecution dismissed count 1 and added count 3, misdemeanor vandalism under Penal Code section 594, subdivision (b)(2)(A).*fn1

After the evidence was presented, the juvenile court dismissed count 3 for lack of evidence but found the allegations in count 2, resisting a public officer under section 148, true. The court placed minor on probation in the custody of his mother.

On appeal, minor contends that his conviction under section 148 is not supported by substantial evidence because he did not resist a public officer. We agree because, as a matter of law, a campus security officer is not a public officer. Therefore, the judgment is reversed.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 30, 2008, the security department at Arroyo Valley High School received a call regarding vandalism on campus. Campus Security Officers Bryan Butts, Oscar Ramos, and Ron Meyer responded directly to the scene, while Officer Alfredo Yanez drove his patrol car around the perimeter of the school campus. Unlike Security Officer Butts, Officer Yanez is a peace officer employed by the San Bernardino City Unified School District.

When the campus security officers arrived at the scene, they saw a group of students scatter. They pursued one group of three or four students, one of whom was minor, heading towards Baseline Street.

As they began to pursue the group, Officer Butts yelled to the group several times to stop. Minor and Officer Butts were well acquainted with each other; they had over 30 conversations with each other. Officer Butts yelled directly to minor, by name, to stop many times. Minor continued to run.

During this pursuit, Officer Butts saw minor throw a white container on the ground. The officer believed this container to be a spray paint can. Later, Officer Butts returned to retrieve the object thrown, but only found a water bottle.

Eventually, minor exited the campus and encountered Officer Yanez. Minor immediately submitted to his command to stop and was arrested.

II. ANALYSIS

Minor contends that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction for violating section 148 because, as a matter of law, Officer Butts is not a peace officer, a public officer, or an emergency medical ...


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