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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN ROBERT BAKER (11/15/85)

filed: November 15, 1985.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT,
v.
JOHN ROBERT BAKER



Appeal from the Suppression Order of April 5, 1984 and the Judgment entered May 21, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Criminal Division, at No. 1752-83.

COUNSEL

Phyllis R. Streitel, Assistant District Attorney, West Chester, for Com., appellant.

JoAnn Selleck, Assistant Public Defender, West Chester, for appellee.

Wieand, Watkins and Geisz,*fn* JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 347 Pa. Super. Page 214]

This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County suppressing a revolver seized from under the driver's seat of the defendant's automobile pursuant to a warrantless search.

The question raised on appeal is that the court below erred in suppressing the revolver seized from under the seat of defendant's vehicle pursuant to a warrantless search of the vehicle based on probable cause and exigent circumstances.

The facts are as follows: On August 16, 1983, at 2:00 P.M. the police received the following information from a reliable informer, who on several prior occasions had given the police reliable information concerning illegal activities, that he had witnessed the defendant waving a gun at a

[ 347 Pa. Super. Page 215]

Puerto Rican. The informant called it a cannon with a six-inch barrel. He said the defendant was driving an old beat-up red convertible Plymouth and that he was wearing a camouflage hat. The informer identified the defendant by his first and last names.

Thirty minutes after receiving this information, the following events took place: Police testified that they were notified that the defendant was parked in the Yearsley Parking Lot. When the police arrived, the defendant was sitting by himself in a red convertible. The police maintained surveillance while other officers were summoned.

As they observed the car a female, Beverly Root, got into the car and the car was driven east on Market Street and the police lost it. However, they were advised by police radio that the car was now parked by the Salvation Army. As he was backing out of the parking space when the officers approached it, the defendant jumped out of the car noisily abusing the police. He was informed that they had information that he had a weapon in the car.

The defendant was wearing a T-shirt and cut-off blue jeans so that they could easily ascertain that he was not armed. The defendant had turned off the ignition when he exited his vehicle. He was highly irate, yelling at the police to leave him alone and leave. The ...


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