Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Sept. T., 1970, Nos. 619 and 620, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Janice Johnson.
James D. Crawford, Deputy District Attorney, with him J. Bruce McKissock and Milton M. Stein, Assistant District Attorneys, Richard A. Sprague, First Assistant District Attorney, and Arlen Specter, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellant.
Robert B. Mozenter, with him Donald C. Marino and Marino and Mozenter, for appellee.
Wright, P. J., Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, and Cercone, JJ. Opinion by Watkins, J.
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This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division,
[ 223 Pa. Super. Page 85]
of Philadelphia County, suppressing all items of evidence which resulted from a search of the premises of the defendant-appellee, Janice Johnson.
On the morning of August 15, 1970, the Philadelphia police, armed with a search and seizure warrant for a dwelling at 3100 J Mountain Drive, Philadelphia, arrived at the premises. The police had the premises under surveillance for approximately one-half hour when they observed a female approaching the residence.
Officer Green followed the woman to the front door and when it was opened by the defendant to allow her entry, he, having his badge in his left hand and the search warrant in his right hand, approached the door and identified himself as a police officer. He was in civilian clothes. He was about to announce his purpose to search the premises when the defendant, having observed him, attempted to slam the door in his face. The officer put his foot on the threshold to prevent the door from being closed, announced his purpose and entered the premises and executed the warrant after which a search of the premises was conducted.
The only question raised before us is whether or not the search and seizure was invalid because of the officer placing his foot on the threshold in order to prevent the slamming of the door and then announcing his purpose and entering the premises. The lower court relies on the recent cases of Commonwealth v. DeMichel, 442 Pa. 553, 277 A.2d 159 (1971); and Commonwealth v. Newman, 429 Pa. 441, 240 A.2d 795 (1968), where the results of the searches were suppressed holding that the entry was unreasonable and, therefore, the search unlawful.
All of the cases which have turned on the entry of the officers into the premises for the purpose of executing a search warrant are based on the reasonableness of the ...