Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Criminal at No. 82-10-2496-2499.
Alan Sacks, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com., appellant.
Robert R. Redmond, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Cirillo, Montemuro and Popovich, JJ.
[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 311]
This is an appeal by the Commonwealth from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County granting a motion in arrest of judgment by the defendant/appellee, Jerry Robinson. We reverse.
The standard of review in such a case has been stated by this Court in Commonwealth v. Nelson, 245 Pa. Super. 33, 36, 369 A.2d 279, 280 (1976), aff'd 476 Pa. 269, 382 A.2d 715 (1977); to-wit:
In reviewing an appeal from a trial court's granting of motion in arrest of judgment, we must determine whether the evidence offered by the Commonwealth was legally sufficient to support the verdict. Commonwealth v. Froelich, 458 Pa. 104, 326 A.2d 364 (1974). To reach this determination, we accept all of the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom, upon which the fact-finder could have based the verdict; we can affirm the granting of a motion in arrest of judgment if, viewed in that manner, the evidence was nonetheless insufficient in law
[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 312]
to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as to the crimes charged. Commonwealth v. Blevins, 453 Pa. 481, 309 A.2d 421 (1973). We must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Hazlett, 429 Pa. 476, 240 A.2d 555 (1968). Our task is the same whether the finder of fact was a jury or a judge sitting without a jury. Commonwealth v. Meadows, 232 Pa. Super. 292, 331 A.2d 827 (1974) [, aff'd 471 Pa. 201, 369 A.2d 1266 (1977)].
Instantly, at a non-jury trial before the Honorable Joseph N. Bongiovanni, Jr., Philadelphia Police Officer James Joyce testified that on the 21st of September, 1982 he was working the "Granny Squad" in the Center City. Officers Cherry, Wilson and Smith were assigned in plainclothes to monitor Joyce during this stakeout. Joyce was attired as an elderly man.
At about 9:15 p.m., Joyce was walking north on 13th Street toward Cuthbert. He was openly counting money -- five $1.00 bills wrapped around some play money. He then placed the money in the right coat pocket of his suit. At this point, Joyce looked up and saw, at a distance of about 15 feet, the defendant and another individual "appear[ing]" to look at him from across the street.
As the officer walked onto Cuthbert Street, he could hear somebody following him. After proceeding approximately 30 yards more, he turned around and noticed that the same two males who were looking at him earlier had traveled in his direction. He was approached by the defendant and was asked for a match. He responded he had none. With this, the two males started to walk away, side by side, in the direction of 12th Street. They walked approximately 7, 8 yards before they stopped and talked to each other. After talking for about 30 seconds, they came back to the officer.
The defendant was positioned about 6 feet away and right in front of the officer. The second male stood on the right side of the officer. Then, the defendant asked the officer for a cigarette. The officer stated he had none.
[ 351 Pa. Super. Page 313]
As told by the officer, the following sequence of events occurred:
At this point the male that was standing on my right hit me in my side . . . [with h]is arm, his fist. He reached into my right suit coat pocket, and I grabbed his arm. He pulled away, pulled out. And ...