California Court of Appeals, First District, Third Division
In re JEREMIAH S., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
JEREMIAH S., Defendant and Appellant.
Alameda County Super. Ct. No. JV02989902 Hon. Scott Jackson
and Hon. Roger C. Chan Trial Judges:
Attorneys: Elizabeth H. Eng, under appointment by the First
District Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.
Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant
Attorney General, Jeffrey M. Laurence, Senior Assistant
Attorney General, Eric D. Share, Supervising Deputy Attorney
General, Ronald E. Niver, Deputy Attorney General, for
Plaintiff and Respondent.
S., a minor, appeals from jurisdiction and disposition orders
entered by the juvenile court (Welf. & Inst. Code, §
800). A San Francisco juvenile court had
denied Jeremiah's motion to suppress evidence obtained
from a patdown search for weapons (“patsearch”)
and found true the allegation that Jeremiah had committed
second-degree robbery. The matter was transferred to Alameda
County, where a wardship proceeding was already pending, and
the juvenile court declared wardship and placed Jeremiah on
probation on various terms.
appeal, Jeremiah contends his suppression motion was
erroneously denied. We agree. Based on our independent review
of the undisputed facts, we conclude the officer who
conducted the patsearch did not present specific and
articulable facts to support a reasonable suspicion that
Jeremiah was armed and dangerous. In so concluding, we
decline to recognize a rule that would essentially validate
any patsearch of a suspected robber who is lawfully detained
following a report of a fresh robbery, regardless of the
particular circumstances. Accordingly, we reverse the
jurisdiction and disposition orders and remand the matter to
the juvenile court for further proceedings consistent with
and Procedural Background
around 11:20 p.m. on July 2, 2018, Ornin Gosuwin was carrying
a crossbody bag and holding an iPhone as she walked on Spear
Street toward Market Street in San Francisco. She saw two
“young black men” coming from around the corner.
Both were wearing hoodies, one of which had a blue hue. As
Gosuwin stopped to let the young men pass, one of them pushed
her left shoulder and caused her to fall to the ground. As
the two young men stood over her and began pulling her bag
and phone away, one of them demanded, “Give me your
phone, bitch.” Gosuwin resisted, but the assailants
eventually obtained her phone and purse and continued on
Market Street in the direction of the Embarcadero. Gosuwin
suffered scratches and bruises around her neck from the strap
of her bag.
the attack, Gosuwin went to a nearby building, where a
security guard called the police. San Francisco Police
Officer Kristoffer Stoffel arrived and obtained Gosuwin's
description of the two individuals and the stolen items.
Gosuwin did not see any weapons on her assailants, and she
did not report that any weapons were used.
officer used the “Find My iPhone app” to try to
locate Gosuwin's phone. The map indicated that
Gosuwin's phone was “pinging” on the
Embarcadero near either Pier 19 or Pier 17 before being
turned off. Officers later found Gosuwin's purse on the
ground on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building.
approximately 11:29 p.m., Officers Bryan Neuerburg and
Anthony Halligan were on patrol when they received “a
dispatch call for service for a robbery in the area of 51
Market Street.” Neuerburg and Halligan were dispatched
to the area around Pier 19 to look for the two “robbery
suspects.” They had been told that a purse and phone
had been stolen and that the phone had been tracked to the
area near Pier 19. There was no radio broadcast that a weapon
had been used in the incident, and Neuerburg was not
otherwise told that a weapon was used. The suspects were
initially described as “two black male juveniles,
” but the description was updated to “young black
males approximately in their 20s, ” with one suspect
wearing a light blue or gray hoodie. As the officers drove
along the Embarcadero, they noticed Jeremiah and J.A., both
juveniles, walking northbound, and one was wearing what
appeared to be a light gray hoodie. The officers followed
them for several blocks, driving slowly while they confirmed
the description of the suspects.
Ryan Champlin and his partner were also dispatched to the
area around Piers 19 through 33. They stopped Jeremiah and
J.A. and instructed them to get close to the buildings on the
sidewalk. Officers Neuerburg and Halligan arrived on the
scene as Jeremiah and J.A. were being detained.
to the police report, Jeremiah stood 5 feet, 5 inches tall
and weighed 130 pounds. A police officer instructed Jeremiah
to face a wall with his legs spread and his arms above his
head. He did as instructed and made no sudden movements or
attempts to run away. Officer Neuerburg did not notice any
weapon-like bulges in Jeremiah's clothing, and there was
nothing about Jeremiah's appearance, behavior, or actions
to make him believe that Jeremiah was armed and dangerous.
Nevertheless, Neuerburg believed Jeremiah was armed and
dangerous because “a robbery occurred” and he
knew that “most robberies involve a weapon or most
robbers tend to have weapons on their persons.”
Officer Neuerburg began his patsearch, he immediately felt
two phones in Jeremiah's pocket. Believing the phones
were evidence of the reported robbery, Neuerburg asked if he
could take them out of the pocket, and Jeremiah consented.