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In re D.L.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division

December 14, 2017

In re D.L., a Minor,
v.
D.L., Respondent-Appellee. The People of the State of Illinois, Petitioner-Appellant,

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 17 JD 663 Honorable Cynthia Ramirez, Judge Presiding.

          JUSTICE McBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Burke and Justice Gordon concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          MCBRIDE JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Respondent, D.L., was charged in a petition for adjudication of wardship alleging that he committed various gun offenses. D.L. filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, alleging that the police had violated his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the federal and state constitutions. U.S. Const., amends. IV, XIV; Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 6. After a hearing, the circuit court agreed with respondent and granted his motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. In this court, the State contends that the circuit court erred in doing so.

         ¶ 2 The record shows that on March 29, 2017, the State filed a petition for adjudication of wardship under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq. (West 2016)), alleging that 16-year-old respondent committed a Class 3 felony of defacing identification marks of a firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-5(b) (West 2016)), two Class 4 felonies of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1) (West 2016)), and a Class 4 felony of unlawful possession of a firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-3.1(a)(1) (West 2016)).

         ¶ 3 On Apri1 24, 2017, respondent filed a motion to quash defendant's arrest and suppress evidence, alleging that he was subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure. The circuit court held a hearing on respondent's suppression motion on April 26, 2017. The only witness to testify was Chicago police officer Bradley Scaduto.

         ¶ 4 Officer Scaduto testified that on the evening of March 28, 2017, he was working with three partners—Officers Borne, Riley, and Boubach—in an unmarked squad car. The officers were in plainclothes, wore "CPD badges" and had "police" on the back of their vests. Around 8:20 p.m., the officers received a dispatch concerning multiple calls of shots fired on "the 117th block of Loomis." The dispatch gave no information about the identity of the suspects or callers, other than "more than one person called in th[e] incident." Officer Scaduto and his partners, who were about "one minute away on Halsted Street, " responded to the dispatch and began to drive toward the 117th block of South Loomis Street.

         ¶ 5 One minute later, while travelling westbound on 116th Street, the officers saw respondent and another male walking eastbound on the sidewalk about "two houses away from Loomis." Officer Scaduto did not know respondent, or see any bulges in his clothing. Officer Scaduto observed that respondent and the other male were "walking quickly" away from the area of the shots fired call. There were no other people on the street at the time, and Officer Scaduto observed respondent for approximately five seconds. Officer Scaduto stated that, "[d]ue to the fact that it was a shots fired call in that area and [respondent] was walking quickly away from that shots fired call, we attempted to conduct a street stop *** [to] have a conversation about the shot[s] fired call and if they heard anything."

         ¶ 6 The officers approached, and Officer Scaduto "told [respondent] to stop so we could have a conversation about the shots fired call." When asked whether this was "a request or *** an order, " Officer Scaduto clarified that "[i]t was an order." The male who was walking with respondent "complied" and headed toward the police car. Respondent, however, "did not comply with [Officer Scaduto's] order and began running" northbound down an alley. Officer Scaduto pursued respondent on foot, did not lose sight of him, and detained respondent less than one minute later. When asked what crime he was trying to apprehend respondent for, Officer Scaduto stated: "The shots fired call. The totality of the circumstances was [respondent] was leaving the area of the shots fired and then he didn't comply with my verbal commands where I told him to come to the squad car so we could have a brief conversation *** and then he fled in the alley."

         ¶ 7 Once he apprehended respondent, Officer Scaduto handcuffed respondent, "detained him[, ] and placed him in custody." Officer Scaduto conducted a pat-down because he had "reason to believe that [respondent] ran *** because he was concealing a firearm." Officer Scaduto denied that respondent was arrested at this point, stating that it was "part of the field interview."

         ¶ 8 During the pat-down, Officer Scaduto recovered a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun from inside the pocket of respondent's jacket. The handgun was "stove piped, " meaning it had a malfunction that "only happens after you actually shoot the firearm." After he recovered the weapon, Officer Scaduto placed respondent under arrest.

         ¶ 9 Officer Scaduto explained that he performed a pat-down "[b]ased on the totality of the circumstances, the shots fired call, the minor respondent walking away from the area of the shots fired call ***, and that he and another individual were the only ones on the street at the time of the shots fired call in that area." He further asserted that he had "reason to believe that he was concealing a firearm" based on the "shots fired call" and "that he fled from me and didn't obey *** my verbal commands."

         ¶ 10 Based on the above testimony, respondent argued that before Officer Scaduto had ordered him to stop, the officer had only observed him for five seconds, at which time he had been engaged in "normal behavior" by "walking away from a shooting scene." Respondent pointed out that Officer Scaduto did not observe any bulges or weapons and that there was no description, eyewitness, or informant connecting respondent to the shots fired. Respondent further argued that it was not enough to be in an area where criminal activity occurred and that flight from the police was not, standing alone, sufficient to establish probable cause.

         ¶ 11 In response, the State argued that the relevant time period was "the time the minor was actually seized and detained[, ] not *** the time that the officer attempted to detain." Accordingly, the State contended that respondent was only seized after he fled from the officers, and at that ...


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