Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, at No. CC8407086A and No. CC8407088A.
Edward J. Borkowski, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Com., appellant.
Norma Chase, Pittsburgh, for Jackson, appellee.
Paulette J. Balough, Assistant Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for Favors, appellee.
Cirillo, President Judge, and Del Sole and Beck, JJ. Cirillo, President Judge, files a dissenting opinion.
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 28]
The Appellees in this case were each charged on August 14, 1984, with one count of riot and one count of failure of disorderly persons to disperse upon official order. The charges against the Appellees, who are prison inmates, result from their involvement in the obstruction of a prison guard's attempt to lock up another inmate who had stabbed an officer in the dining hall of the State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh. On November 27, 1984, each Appellee made an oral motion to dismiss on the grounds
[ 354 Pa. Super. Page 29]
that the charges were de minimis, which was granted by the trial court. The Commonwealth appeals from this Order.
At the hearing on Appellees' pre-trial motions to dismiss, the trial judge asked the Assistant District Attorney to describe what the case was about. The following exchange took place:
MS. ANGELL: [Assistant District Attorney] Your Honor, it was in the dining room during dinnertime. There was an assault by a prisoner.
THE COURT: Not one of these two individuals?
MS. ANGELL: No. When the officer ordered that the prisoner be taken from the cafeteria and taken into custody, Mr. Jackson then stood up and screamed. He stood up and screamed: Let's block the aisle. It was at that time that 30 people gathered around him. They blocked the guard from leaving. Mr. Favors then got up and blocked the guard from the other way. There were ...