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Commonwealth v. Franklin

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

June 24, 2013

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee
v.
MOSES FRANKLIN, Appellant

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence October 13, 2010 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0001898-2010

BEFORE: STEVENS, P.J., WECHT, J., and COLVILLE, J.[*]

OPINION

STEVENS, P.J.

This is an appeal from the judgment of sentence entered by the Court of Common Pleas after Appellant Franklin Moses (a.k.a. Moses Franklin)[1] was convicted of resisting arrest[2] and disorderly conduct.[3] Appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions. We affirm.

On March 19, 2009, Philadelphia City Council convened at City Hall for their weekly meeting. Sergeant Pedro Rosario, Chief Sergeant-at-Arms, was on duty at the Council meeting when he heard a commotion going on in the balcony that overlooks the City Council chambers. When Sergeant Rosario reached the balcony, he encountered Appellant, co-defendant Wali Rahman ("Rahman"), [4] and several other individuals, who were yelling so loud that they disrupted the Council meeting. Sergeant Rosario observed the

President of the Council stop the meeting by banging his gavel in an attempt to bring order among the noisy crowd. At every entrance of the balcony, there were notices posted that informed citizens of behavior deemed inappropriate for City Council meetings. For the benefit of other spectators, attendees at City Council meetings may not stand up and hold signs.

When Sergeant Rosario approached Appellant and Rahman, he asked them to sit down and quiet down to allow the meeting to continue. Sergeant Rosario informed the men that they would be escorted out of the building if they continued to disrupt the meeting. Appellant, Rahman, and their group of friends ignored Sergeant Rosario's requests and Rahman encouraged the crowd to stand up and make more noise. Sergeant Rosario indicated that he was concerned because the crowd was standing very close to the balcony's glass divide, where the public is not allowed to stand for safety reasons.

Sergeant Rosario directed Sergeant Derek Grant and Officer Donald West, civil affairs police officers, to help him control the crowd on the balcony. After Sergeant Grant and Officer West had identified themselves as police officers and asked Appellant and Rahman to leave the balcony several times, Sergeant Grant took the sign that Rahman was holding. In response, Rahman shoved Sergeant Grant with both hands, pushing him back several feet. Rahman then threw several punches at Sergeant Grant and continued to swing at other officers.

At this point, Officer West saw Appellant attempt to join in the fight and start swinging his fists at Sergeant Grant. As a result, Officer West grabbed Appellant by the jacket and attempted to place him under arrest. Appellant did not comply and continuously yanked his arms away. Appellant slipped away from Officer West and headed in the opposite direction. However, Officer West was eventually able to subdue Appellant and place him under arrest.

Appellant was charged in connection with this incident and proceeded to a bench trial which was held on August 24, 2010. The trial court convicted Appellant of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. On October 13, 2010, the trial court sentenced Appellant to one year nonreporting probation. Appellant filed a timely post-sentence motion, which was denied by operation of law on February 28, 2012. This timely appeal followed.

Appellant raises the following issues for our review on appeal:

1. In regard to the Disorderly Conduct conviction, was there insufficient evidence as a matter of law that Appellant had the specific "intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm" or that he "recklessly created a risk thereof"?
2. In regard to the Resisting Arrest conviction, was there insufficient evidence as a matter of law that the underlying arrest or ...

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