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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. THOMAS J. NOVICK (12/11/81)

filed: December 11, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
THOMAS J. NOVICK, APPELLANT



No. 41 March Term, 1979, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Dauphin County, at Nos. 565, 565(A), 674, 674(A) and 674(B) 1978.

COUNSEL

Larry A. Kalikow, Assistant Public Defender, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Marion E. MacIntyre, Assistant District Attorney, Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Watkins and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 242]

Appellant, Thomas J. Novick, takes this appeal from his conviction for three counts of burglary. In his brief, appellant argues that the physical evidence discovered in appellant's residence and appellant's oral and written inculpatory statements should have been suppressed as the fruits of an unlawful arrest made beyond the territorial limits of the arresting officers' political subdivision.*fn1 We find appellants argument to have merit; therefore, we reverse his convictions.

The underlying factual situation of the instant appeal is as follows. On the evening of April 14, 1978, at approximately

[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 243]

    eight o'clock, Officer Robert Manlove of the Camp Hill Police Department was driving in a marked police car, although he was not wearing his police uniform at the time. The officer had stopped at an intersection in the borough of Camp Hill when a passing motorist, named John W. Metzger, told Officer Manlove that he (the motorist) had just driven past the Ritzman Associates Building and had seen a man with light colored hair and wearing a brown jacket standing on the sidewalk between the Ritzman Building and an adjacent private home. The Ritzman Building, although only seven blocks away from Officer Manlove's location, was not located in the Borough of Camp Hill, which was Officer Manlove's municipality, but was instead located in the Township of Hampden.

Upon receiving this information, Officer Manlove immediately proceeded to the Ritzman Building. As he embarked upon the scene, the officer radioed the Hampden Township Police to advise them of a possible burglary in process at said building and asked them if they requested assistance. The Hampden Police replied in the affirmative, whereupon Officer Manlove proceeded to the scene, arriving there simultaneously with another Camp Hill police officer, Officer Donald Tappan. Upon their arrival, Officers Manlove and Tappan observed appellant walking across the parking lot, approximately twenty feet from the Ritzman Building. The officers drove their respective squad cars with red lights flashing into the lot and confronted appellant. Officer Tappan thought he recognized appellant as being a suspect connected with three suspicious fires which had occurred on the previous day, April 13, 1978, in the Camp Hill/Hampden area, two of which had occurred within a block of the Ritzman Building. On that basis the two Camp Hill officers arrested and handcuffed appellant and "read him his Constitutional Rights." Approximately three to five minutes after this arrest was made, officers of the Hampden Township Police Department arrived. Appellant was subsequently driven to the Hampden Township police station by Officer Tappan, one of the Camp Hill police officers.

[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 244]

At issue here is the question whether the Camp Hill police officers had the authority to legally arrest appellant in Hampden Township. Before addressing this question, it must first be noted that appellant's arrest under these circumstances cannot be supported by the law regarding "hot pursuit"; this point is conceded by the Commonwealth.*fn2 See Commonwealth v. Bable, 254 Pa. Superior Ct. 72, 385 A.2d 530 (1978) (where arrest of accused by officer of adjoining municipality was result of hot pursuit which originated outside the arresting officer's municipality, such arrest was unlawful because the officer had no authority to arrest anyone outside the officer's own municipality). Rather, the Commonwealth relies upon the statute which permits municipalities to enter into mutual aid agreements for the furnishing of police and fire protection. In pertinent part, this statute reads:

" Joint contracts for police and fire protection. To enter into contracts with the proper authorities of near or adjacent cities, boroughs, or townships, either for mutual aid or assistance in police and fire protection, or for the furnishing to, or receiving from, such cities, boroughs, or townships, aid and assistance in police and fire protection, and to make appropriations therefor . . . When any such contract has been entered into the police, firemen or fire police of the employing city, borough or ...


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