Submitted: March 18, 2019
from the Court of Common Pleas.
Frances S. Ratner, Esquire, Office of Defense Services,
Wilmington, Delaware, for Appellant.
Jillian L. Schroeder, Esquire, Department of Justice,
Wilmington, Delaware, for the Appellee.
Charles E. Butler Judge.
an appeal from the Court of Common Pleas. After a jury trial,
Eugene Smith was convicted of disorderly conduct and
resisting arrest. He appealed both convictions to this Court,
but a previous ruling of the Court determined that the
disorderly conduct conviction was not appealable. We
therefore examine here only the resisting arrest conviction.
Finding Smith's claims unavailing, the Court affirms the
verdict and sentence imposed by the Court of Common Pleas.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
24, 2017, two Wilmington Police Officers responded to a call
for help in the 900 Block of West 30th Street.
There was a playground with a basketball court populated by
ball players and families with children. Upon arrival,
officers observed a parked SUV occupied by a female
passenger, with the door ajar. Mr. Smith was standing six to
seven feet from the vehicle, pointing in its direction and
screaming obscenities. Smith continued screaming obscenities,
even as the officers approached him.
was apparent that Smith was arguing with his girlfriend, one
officer stayed with the girlfriend and the other walked Mr.
Smith away from the vehicle in an effort to deescalate the
situation. Instead, Smith screamed more obscenities at the
police officer accompanying him. Smith finally calmed down
and provided his name to the officer, but then he refused to
supply his birth date.
officer went to his patrol car to determine Smith's
birthdate. While in his patrol vehicle, Smith approached the
officer in an aggressive manner. The officer exited the
vehicle and told Smith to step back and place his hands
behind his back. In response, Smith told the officer that the
officer "couldn't handle him." The officer then
attempted to handcuff Smith, resulting in a struggle to bring
him under control. In the course of his resistance, Smith
wound up in the passenger seat of the patrol car, at which
point the officer forcibly removed him from the vehicle.
struggle continued until the officer was on top of Smith and
both of them were on the ground. Once finally handcuffed,
Smith was transported to the hospital as a precautionary
measure, where it was determined that he had a rib contusion.
jury found Mr. Smith guilty of disorderly conduct and
resisting arrest. The Court sentenced him to a $100 fine for
disorderly conduct. For the resisting arrest count, Smith
received a jail sentence, suspended for probation. Upon
initial review, this Court determined that the disorderly
conduct sentence to a $100 fine is not
appealable. Therefore, the only issues remaining
available for review are certain evidentiary rulings made by
the trial court relating to the resisting arrest charge.
ISSUES RAISED ON APPEAL
argues that the trial court abused its discretion in
prohibiting any testimony regarding a Use of Force Report, or
the lack thereof, in association with his arrest. Smith also
says the trial court unfairly ...