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COMMONWEALTH v. JOHNSON (09/22/75)

decided: September 22, 1975.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
JOHNSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, June T., 1974, Nos. 261 and 262, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ernest Lee Johnson.

COUNSEL

Richard E. Johnson, for appellant.

William A. Richardson, 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 Cercone, J.

Author: Cercone

[ 236 Pa. Super. Page 100]

At approximately 10:00 P.M. on May 3, 1974, Mrs. Agnes Davis was returning from church when she was punched, knocked down and robbed of her purse which contained sixty dollars. Simultaneously, a private citizen reported the crime in progress to the police who were nearby. When the officers arrived at the scene, a gentleman was helping Mrs. Davis to her feet. Upon seeing the police this bystander pointed to appellant, Johnson, who was some forty yards up the street and said: "There he goes. He did it." When the police ordered Johnson to halt, he began to flee, discarding things from his pockets until he was finally overtaken and arrested. Upon searching Johnson the police found a black change purse which belonged to Mrs. Davis. After a trial without jury appellant was found guilty of theft from a person and simple assault. The instant appeal ensued.

Appellant's first contention is that there was an irreparably tainted confrontation with the victim at the police station after his arrest. However, at trial, concerning her identification of appellant, Mrs. Davis' testimony was as follows:

"Q. I am asking you, do you remember this man from the incident that took place on the street?

A. Yes, I do.

By the Court :

Q. Miss Davis, how do you know this is the man?

A. He is the man, because he come in with a light raincoat. When I looked up at him, he ...


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