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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM GLASSMAN (12/15/86)

decided: December 15, 1986.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM GLASSMAN, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order April 2, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Miscellaneous Docket No. 85-006759.

COUNSEL

Elliot B. Platt, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Leonard Deutchman, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Com., appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Rowley and Beck, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 359 Pa. Super. Page 232]

This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Appellant, William Glassman, was convicted of reckless driving and driving without lights to avoid identification and attempting to elude police and was sentenced to pay a fine and court costs totaling $497.00. After the denial of his post-trial motions he appealed to this Court. We affirm.

On January 4, 1985 at 1:40 A.M., police officer Frank Boyle observed a red Honda driving on the wrong side of Warden Drive in Philadelphia. The car disregarded a stop sign and Officer Boyle pulled his vehicle behind the Honda and turned on his dome light. Instead of pulling over, the Honda sped away, ignoring stop signs and speed limits. The driver of the car turned off his headlights as he attempted to out-run the police car which was in pursuit with its siren on. Officer Boyle saw the Honda pull into a driveway and garage in the 3400 block of Queen Lane. The officer confronted the appellant as he walked from his garage to his house. Appellant denied that he had been involved in the incident and insisted that Officer Boyle must have lost sight of the perpetrator's car during the chase. The officer took appellant to the police station where he was detained for a period of time between one and three hours, issued a citation and released. The traffic court disbelieved appellant's assertion that he was not the driver of the car which the officer had observed and chased. On appeal, the Court of Common Pleas reached the same conclusion.

Appellant presents three issues for our review: (1) whether appellant was arrested illegally, rendering the citations invalid; (2) whether the evidence at trial was sufficient to support a finding that appellant was the driver of the car in question; (3) whether the evidence of intent was sufficient to support a finding of guilt.

Appellant claims that his conviction must be reversed because his arrest was illegal since it violated the procedural requirements mandated by the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

[ 359 Pa. Super. Page 233]

The Commonwealth claims that appellant was detained for a short period of time but was never arrested. We find it unnecessary to resolve this issue. Even assuming that the appellant was placed under arrest, his subsequent conviction is proper and need not be reversed.

Appellant was charged with reckless driving, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3714 and driving without lights to avoid identification or arrest, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3734, both of which are summary offenses. The Rules of Criminal Procedure, at that time, provided in pertinent part:

A. Criminal Proceedings in summary cases shall be instituted in the ...


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