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COMMONWEALTH v. BETTS (06/24/75)

decided: June 24, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
BETTS, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1973, Nos. 153 and 154, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. James Betts.

COUNSEL

Stephen G. Young, for appellant.

Harry M. Spaeth, Mark Sendrow, and Steven H. Goldblatt, Assistant District Attorneys, Abraham J. Gafni, Deputy District Attorney, and F. Emmett Fitzpatrick, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Hoffman

[ 234 Pa. Super. Page 643]

Appellant contends that failure by his trial counsel to file a motion to suppress identification evidence and post-trial motions constituted ineffective assistance of counsel.

[ 234 Pa. Super. Page 644]

On May 19, 1973, Mrs. Edna Bayer and her husband were walking on 45th Street, near Pine Street in Philadelphia at about 4:00 p.m., Mrs. Bayer was grabbed from behind and knocked to the ground by an assailant who managed to grab Mrs. Bayer's pocketbook. Neither she nor her husband was able to identify the assailant because he had approached from the rear.

Eric Richter and his wife, Carolyn Richter, were on the other side of 45th Street at the time of the assault. Mrs. Richter saw the assailant step between two parked cars, look up and down the street, and then attack Mrs. Bayer. She alerted her husband to the purse snatch. He did not see the actual incident, but turned to see the assailant running away with the purse. Mr. Richter pursued the assailant along Spruce Street, to Melville Street where the assailant fled into an alley at the corner of Locust and Melville Streets. When Mr. Richter turned the corner, the assailant struck his pursuer in the face, thereby escaping. Mr. Richter then called the police.

Mrs. Richter described the assailant to the police as a "black male approximately 6' in height, a navy blue jacket which at that point was zipped up, with a dark collar . . . blue jeans that were rolled up . . ., white socks and white sneakers." Mr. Richter described the man as wearing a v-neck brown shirt with yellow stripes, blue jeans with cuffs rolled up, sneakers, and a blue waistlength nylon jacket with writing on the left breast pocket.

Pursuant to a radio broadcast, Officer Frank Rooney of the Philadelphia Police Department stopped appellant at the corner of 45th and Walnut Streets. Appellant was wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans and was carrying a gold jacket.*fn1 The police took appellant back to the scene

[ 234 Pa. Super. Page 645]

    of the purse snatch where he was identified by both ...


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