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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. STUART THOMPSON (09/19/88)

filed: September 19, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
STUART THOMPSON, APPELLANT



Appeal from Judgment of Sentence, August 6, 1987, Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Chester County, No. 2394-86

COUNSEL

Jenny Steinen, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Stuart B. Suss, Assistant District Attorney, West Chester, for Com., appellee.

Cavanaugh, Wieand and Del Sole, JJ. Wieand, J., files a concurring and dissenting opinion.

Author: Cavanaugh

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 600]

This is an appeal from a judgment of sentence entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, sentencing the appellant to a thirty (30) day to twenty-three (23) month term of incarceration following his conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. We reverse.

On the evening of August 3, 1986, Valley Forge Park Ranger John Bandurski observed the appellant run a stop sign within the confines of the park. He activated his emergency lights and siren and pursued the appellant until the latter brought his yellow sedan to a stop approximately one-quarter mile beyond the park limits. This area was within the boundaries of Tredyffrin Township. Ranger Bandurski then approached the appellant, who had exited

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 601]

    his vehicle, and noted that "[h]e had slurred speech and the smell of alcohol on his breath." After advising the appellant of his failure to stop at the traffic sign (an assertion which the appellant denied), Ranger Bandurski asked him to submit to a field sobriety test. Three such tests were administered, two of which the appellant failed. Ranger Bandurski then contacted his dispatcher in an effort to communicate with Tredyffrin Township as well as to secure assistance from an additional park ranger. Approximately two to five minutes thereafter, Ranger Paul Reilly and Tredyffrin Township Police Officer Stephen Dintino and his shift sergeant arrived at the scene. After being advised that the appellant might be intoxicated, Officer Dintino proceeded to administer his own sobriety tests. Based upon the results of the foregoing, the appellant was placed under arrest.*fn1 He was subsequently advised of his Miranda warnings and of the Pennsylvania Implied Consent provision in connection with a request that he submit to chemical testing of his blood. The appellant refused to comply, whereupon he was transported to the Tredyffrin Township police station and advised of the township policy regarding the video taping of persons arrested for Driving Under the Influence. Prior to taping, the appellant requested the assistance of a Public Defender. Accordingly, both the appellant and Officer Dintino attempted to contact the Chester County Public Defender by various methods but were unsuccessful in their efforts. Officer Dintino then proceeded to film the appellant as he performed a horizontal gaze nystagmus test and a walk and turn test. Prior to taping, the appellant was not advised of his Miranda rights a second time, but the warnings were administered during the course of the filming. Several months later at a preliminary hearing held on October 1, 1986, the appellant was held for court on the charge of Driving Under the Influence (75 Pa.C.S.A.

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 602]

§ 3731(a)).*fn2 A pretrial suppression hearing was conducted on December 9-10, 1986, at the conclusion of which the hearing court denied the appellant's Motion to Quash the indictment on jurisdictional grounds. Said hearing was continued until January 7, 1987, at which time the court denied the remaining Motion to Suppress concerning the videotape.*fn3 At the conclusion of the jury trial on January 9, 1987, the appellant was convicted of Driving Under the Influence. Following the denial of Post-Verdict Motions on July 14, 1987, the appellant was sentenced to a thirty (30) day to twenty-three (23) month term of incarceration and was further required to pay a fine in the amount of $1,500.00.*fn4 This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence.

The following issues have been raised for our consideration:

Did the trial court err when he held that the extra-territorial arrest of the defendant by a federal park ranger was proper?

Did the court err when he ruled that the video tape of the defendant's third set of field test was admissible at trial?

While we find no merit in the appellant's first claim, a thorough review of the record and controlling authority leads us to the conclusion that the trial court erred in failing to suppress the videotape evidence. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment below.

It is initially contended that the extraterritorial arrest was improper, insofar as Ranger Bandurski was without

[ 377 Pa. Super. Page 603]

    jurisdiction to detain the appellant beyond the boundaries of the federal park. While the appellant would characterize his detention as an arrest, it would appear from the record that the actual arrest was effectuated by Officer Dintino subsequent to the second set of field sobriety tests. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is beyond ...


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