Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Loat v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

February 22, 2017

TARIQ LOAT, Defendant-Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff-Below, Appellee.

          Submitted: February 8, 2017

         Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID. No. 1511011409

          Before HOLLAND, VAUGHN and SEITZ, Justices.

          ORDER

          COLLINS J. SEITZ, JR. JUSTICE

         This 22nd day of February, 2017, having considered the briefs and the record below, it appears to the Court that:

         (1) On November 18, 2015, Detectives Alexis Schupp and Jose Cintron of the Wilmington Police Department were on patrol near the 500 block of Maryland Avenue in Wilmington when they saw Tariq Loat and Vaughn Rowe walking down the street. As Rowe was walking, he kept reaching for his waistband, leading the detectives to suspect he was carrying a gun. Because the detectives were in plain clothes and an unmarked vehicle, they called for uniformed officers to assist them in approaching the men. Uniformed officers pulled up to Loat and Rowe and asked to speak to them. Loat immediately took off running. Rowe also attempted to flee, but an officer detained him. Police later found a gun in his waistband. Another officer chased after Loat, and ordered him to stop. The police eventually detained Loat, and found a gun ten feet away from where they found him.

         (2) Rowe moved to suppress the evidence arguing that police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop him. Loat later joined in that motion. After a hearing, the Superior Court denied the motion. The court determined that the officers had seized Loat and Rowe when they initially asked to speak with them. Further, as to Loat, the court found that because the defendants were in a high crime area, and because Detective Schupp knew that Loat had access to firearms because he had executed a "recent search warrant" at Loat's home that yielded weapons, there was reasonable suspicion to stop him. Further, the court held that when Loat ran away, "there was reasonable articulable suspicion that [Loat] was armed and [the] chase was appropriate and lawful."[1] Thus, the Superior Court declined to suppress the evidence. The court later found Loat guilty of various weapons offenses after a stipulated bench trial.

         (3) On appeal, Loat raises two issues. First, he claims that the trial court's determination that Detective Schupp had "recently" executed a search warrant at Loat's residence was clearly erroneous. Second, Loat claims that the court erred when it held that the police had reasonable suspicion to stop him. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

         (4) On November 18, 2015, Detectives Schupp and Cintron of the Wilmington Police Department were on patrol near the 500 block of Maryland Avenue in Wilmington. The detectives were in plain clothes driving an unmarked police car. While at a stop light, the detectives saw Loat and Rowe walking down Maryland Avenue. Detective Schupp remembered Loat because he had previously executed a search warrant at his house and seized illegal guns from his family members. Loat was not the subject of the warrant.

         (5) Detective Schupp noticed that Rowe's hand was "plastered" against his side as if he was holding something in his waistband. Rowe occasionally removed his hand from his waistband, but repeatedly returned it as if he were conducting a "security check" of the item he had hidden there. The detectives suspected that Rowe was carrying a gun. After watching Rowe and Loat for six to seven minutes, they decided to question them. Because the detectives were in plain clothes, they called for uniformed officers to approach the men.

         (6) Corporals Daniel Moore and Gaetan MacNamara of the Wilmington Police Department responded to the call. Corporal Moore stepped out of the vehicle and asked Rowe and Loat, "Hey, can I talk to you?"[2] Loat immediately ran away. Rowe attempted to run away, but Corporal Moore grabbed him and restrained him on the sidewalk. At that point, Corporal Deanne Warner arrived and took custody of Rowe. She found a gun in Rowe's waistband.

         (7) Corporal MacNamara chased Loat. Loat grabbed his waistband, and Corporal MacNamara yelled "stop, police!" He believed Loat was attempting to grab a gun.[3] Another officer eventually caught Loat. When Corporal MacNamara caught up to them, he saw a gun on the ground about ten feet from Loat.

         (8) Police arrested Loat and Rowe and charged them with possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, possession of ammunition by a person prohibited, and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. Loat was also charged with resisting arrest, and Rowe was charged with possession of a controlled substance.[4] On February 26, 2016, Rowe moved to suppress the evidence, arguing that police obtained it as a result of an unconstitutional seizure. On March 31, 2016, Loat's counsel moved to join Rowe's motion to suppress. The Superior Court held a hearing on the motion on April 15, 2016.

         (9) At the hearing, Detective Schupp testified that he knew Loat had access to guns because he had previously executed a search warrant at Loat's house. He also testified that criminals typically pass weapons back and forth to elude police efforts to locate firearms. Thus, based on Rowe's behavior and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.