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The People v. Hardev Singh et al

May 30, 2012

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
HARDEV SINGH ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.



(Super. Ct. No. CRF100631)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie , Acting P. J.

P. v Singh

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A deputy sheriff responding to a 911 call of a physical fight stopped a car matching the description given by radio dispatch. As a result of evidence gathered during the stop and a search of the car, defendants Hardev Singh and Kuljeet Singh were charged with several felonies, including attempted murder and arson.

The trial court denied defendants' motion to suppress the evidence. Hardev Singh subsequently pled no contest to arson of an inhabited structure, vandalism in excess of $400, and two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor*fn1 and was sentenced to three years in prison. Kuljeet Singh pled no contest to assault with a firearm, arson of an inhabited dwelling, vandalism in excess of $400, and two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and received a four-year prison sentence.

On appeal, defendants contend the trial court erred in denying their suppression motion because sufficient reasonable suspicion to detain the car did not exist with either the dispatch call or the deputy himself. We disagree and affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Testimony during the suppression hearing showed that a 911 call reporting a physical fight came to the Sutter County Sheriff's Department at approximately 3:30 a.m. on March 16, 2010. Dispatcher Carrie Zembiec took the call and typed the information into her computer. The caller said the fight happened at a market on Bogue Road, and four male East-Indian suspects in their 20's were leaving in a black four-door Ford westbound on Bogue Road.

Dispatcher Mary Manuel testified she sat near Zembiec and heard Zembiec's side of the conversation, became aware of "a 415[*fn2 ] in progress" and read what Zembiec was typing. At one point, Manuel personally listened to the call for about three seconds and heard the caller say he was not hurt in response to a question by Zembiec.

The caller spoke in "broken" English. Manuel sensed his native language was Punjabi, but understood all she heard him say. Following standard practice, Manuel took handwritten notes during the call and reviewed them along with Zembiec's computer notes before dispatching to the field.

Sutter County Deputy Sheriff Howard Hunt received the dispatch. He testified that the dispatch "advised the aggressors were four East-Indian males who were leaving the scene in a black Ford four-door car." The car was last seen leaving the store and driving west on Bogue Road.

Deputy Hunt drove to the area of the market and, after learning via dispatch the store clerk was not injured, headed west on Bogue Road, then north on Walton Avenue looking for the car. At the intersection of Walton and Lincoln Road, he saw a car matching the description driving west on Lincoln. Four persons were inside, one wearing a yellow turban. It was approximately 3:30 a.m. The roads in the area were otherwise deserted.

Deputy Hunt stopped the car. He saw the person in the backseat behind the front passenger seat lean forward "as if he was reaching underneath the seat in front of him." One of the occupants, defendant Hardev Singh, told the deputy he owned the car and consented to a search. Among other items, the deputy ...


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