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People v. Brown

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 5, 1980.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

CURTIS BROWN ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. JAMES T. LONDRIGAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied October 15, 1980.

Armed robbery.

The stop, arrest, search, evidence, confessions — all suppressed.

We reverse.

For we have here a classic example of collective and cooperative police work!

FACTS

The following evidence was presented at the hearing on the suppression motions. State Police Officer Thomas Yokley testified that on July 7, 1979, he received a radio message from the Springfield police department. The message said that there had been an armed robbery at the Boar's Head Restaurant in Springfield, that the suspects were three black males with a sawed-off shotgun, that the possible vehicle was an older brown Cadillac, and that the possible route of travel would be east on Interstate 72.

While proceeding east on Interstate 72, Officer Yokley overtook a late model brown Cadillac. The officer noted two black males inside. The Cadillac's driver was not violating any traffic laws. According to the officer, a car leaving the Boar's Head 15 minutes earlier would have been in this general area.

The officer pulled the Cadillac over to the side of the road. On cross-examination, Yokley testified that he did not have the intent to arrest any of the occupants when he initially stopped the vehicle, but was merely checking the car based on the radio dispatch. He did not know definitely whether a car had been involved in the robbery. He stated that at this point he did not have reason to arrest them.

As the officer left his vehicle, he saw a head in the rear seat of the car bob up and down. There were actually three black males in the car. Officer Yokley then drew his weapon and ordered the occupants to lie down on the shoulder of the road. Officer Yokley admitted that the defendants were probably under arrest at this time, because they could not go anywhere. During final argument, the State conceded that the court would consider the defendants to be under arrest at this point.

Officer Yokley stated that he ordered the defendants out of the car because he feared for his safety. He then searched the defendants' car and discovered a typewriter case, a sawed-off shotgun, small and large envelopes, and a blue money bag containing United States currency. The defendants were told that they were under arrest, advised of their rights, and transported to the Springfield police department.

At the station, each defendant admitted his participation in the armed robbery and defendant Brown said that he owned the vehicle involved.

Much of the hearing focused on the origins of the Springfield police department radio message. Springfield Officer Huber testified that he told the dispatcher to relay the message. In formulating the message, he relied upon three sources of information: (1) the original report that there had been a robbery at the Boar's Head, (2) information received that ...


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