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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JUAN ADAME (05/20/87)

filed: May 20, 1987.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JUAN ADAME, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County at No. SA No. 1061-85.

COUNSEL

Melaine S. Rothey, Assistant Public Defender, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Robert L. Eberhardt, Deputy District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Com., appellee.

Cavanaugh, Popovich and Montgomery, JJ. Montgomery, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Popovich

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 407]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County finding the appellant, Juan Adame, guilty of the summary offense of obstructing public passage (18 Pa.C.S. ยง 5507) and imposing a sentence of ten (10) days imprisonment and a three-hundred dollar ($300.00) fine plus costs. We reverse.

The facts reveal that on the 4th day of June, 1985, at approximately 10:50 p.m., Glassport police officer Val Uziel was on duty and observed at least ten (10) youngsters (age twelve to sixteen) and the appellant congregating on the sidewalk in front of a business establishment (Open Pantry) situated at the busiest intersection in town. Open Pantry had previously requested the police to keep the area in front of its establishment clear and to remove anybody gathering there because this interfered with its business. Since it is patronized by mostly older people, they refuse, in the words of the officer, to go into the establishment when they see a "gang of kids" there, as was the case on the evening in question.

The officer told the appellant on four separate occasions that evening to leave. In fact, the third time the officer recalls stating:

We told him what he is doing wrong. We told him to move on, he is obstructing the public passages and also he is interfering with this place of business.

Nonetheless, albeit the youngsters would leave at the officer's direction, the appellant would remain and, "by his actions", would prompt the gathering of another group "to find out what he [was] yelling about." By the officer's fourth request, the appellant's refusal to remove himself from the premises resulted in his being cited for obstructing public passages.

After all of the evidence was presented, the de novo bench trial came to a close. The next day, i.e., April 29,

[ 363 Pa. Super. Page 4081986]

, an order was entered finding the appellant guilty as charged and imposing sentence. Attached to the order was a one page document advising the appellant of his post-verdict rights pursuant to Pennsylvania Rules of ...


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