Submitted: September 14, 2018
Consideration of Defendant's Motion to Suppress, DENIED.
Rebecca Song, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of
Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for the State.
O. Turner, Jr., Esquire, Assistant Public Defender, Office of
Defense Services, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for
L. Medinilla Judge.
Lamar McE1derry ("Defendant") filed this Motion to
Suppress after he was approached by police while sitting as a
passenger in a parked vehicle in the early morning hours in
Wilmington. Defendant argues that the officers seized him in
violation of his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments of the United States Constitution, Article I,
Section 6 of the Constitution, and Delaware statutory law.
For the reasons that follow, this Court finds that the
officer had reasonable articulable suspicion to justify the
seizure in this case. As such, Defendant's Motion to
Suppress is DENIED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
April 7, 2018, at approximately 1:05 a.m., Wilmington Police
Department Officers Coffiey and Vasquez were patrolling the
area of E. 10th Street and N. Kirkwood Street,
identified as a high drug, high crime area. The Officers
observed a tan 2001 Mercury Marquis with Delaware
registration parked on the 600 Block of E. 10th
Street. The vehicle was registered to a Newark, Delaware
address. When the Officers passed the vehicle, the driver and
rear passenger of the vehicle ducked down in their seats as
if to hide or conceal their presence.
the officers drove around the block and returned to the
vehicle, they parked directly behind it and did not activate
their emergency equipment. The Officers contacted WILCOM for
officer safety due to the location and time of night, and
reported to dispatch that they were conducting a
"suspicious vehicle stop." Officers Vasquez and
Coffiey approached the driver and passenger sides of the
Driver, James Delgenio ("Driver") was asked by
Officer Vasquez what he was doing in the area, and he
responded that he was giving a "buddy" and his
girlfriend a ride home. Driver's "buddy" was
Defendant, seated in the passenger seat; the
"girlfriend," Tyeshia Carroll
("Passenger"), was seated in the rear seat.
Defendant provided a different answer to Officer Coffiey and
told the officer that he knew neither Driver nor Passenger,
and was just getting a ride home.
Coffiey testified that Defendant appeared nervous, and
refused to make eye contact, instead staring straight forward
while the officer spoke to him. When Officer Coffiey asked
Defendant for his name, he gave the name "Cordell
Young." Defendant continued to stare straight ahead and
continued to appear nervous. The officer asked Defendant to
look at him and instantly recognized him by his real name
from a drug arrest made four months prior. Officer Coffiey
told Defendant he knew Defendant to be Lamar McEldeny and
that he was placing him under arrest for Criminal
Impersonation. Upon command to exit, Defendant stepped out of
the vehicle and immediately reached for his waistband. The
Officer testified he believed Defendant was armed and
"going for" a weapon. Officer Coffiey managed to gain
control of Defendant's hands and placed him in handcuffs.
pat-down search for weapons yielded a hard rock-like
substance in a clear plastic baggy in Defendant's
waistband area that the officer believed to be crack cocaine.
As the officer continued to search Defendant's pockets,
Defendant turned away and started running while in handcuffs.
Officer Coffiey chased after him and placed him into custody.
Defendant also had $402 on his person. A vehicle search was
conducted wherein the officers found a Samsung cell phone on
the front passenger seat that Defendant admitted was his. A
DELJIS search showed Defendant had two active capiases.
Defendant was indicted for Drug Dealing Tier 2, Resisting
Arrest, and Criminal Impersonation.
filed this Motion to Suppress on August 7, 2018. The State
responded on August 30, 2018, and a hearing was held on
September 14, 2018. Having considered all pleadings ...