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Commonwealth v. Thran

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

May 2, 2018

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
BRIAN LEE THRAN Appellant

          Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence July 3, 2017 In the Court of Common Pleas of York County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-67-CR-0006925-2016

          BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., LAZARUS, J., and OTT, J.

          OPINION

          OTT, J.

         Brian Lee Thran appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed on July 3, 2017, in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, following his conviction at a bench trial on four counts of driving under the influence (DUI).[1] In this timely appeal, Thran argues the trial court erred in failing to suppress the physical evidence. Thran asserts said evidence was improperly obtained after he was subjected to an investigative detention that was not supported by a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. After a thorough review of the submissions by the parties, relevant law, and the certified record, we affirm.

         The underlying facts of this matter are taken from the trial court opinion dated September 29, 2017 and the notes of testimony of the suppression hearing held on February 17, 2017.

On September 17, 2016, Northern York County Regional Police Officer (NYCRP) Patrick McBreen was working the night shift. N.T. at 5-6.
At 2304 hours (11:04 p.m.), a call was made to York County Control from a named citizen (Justin Baugherman).[2] The call was dispatched to the Officer and the following information was obtained from the caller:
. Mr. Baugherman observed a male riding a black Harley Davidson motorcycle; and
. The male was wearing a black leather jacket; and
. The motorcycle was swerving all over the road and passing over the white line; and
. The motorcycle was traveling north on Orchard Road, made a right onto Lincoln Highway, and pulled into Hartlob's Garage at the corner of Orchard Road and Lincoln Highway on Rt. 30; and
. Mr. Baugherman made the call to 911 because he was concerned for the individual's safety.
The Officer arrived at the location provided by the caller (Hartlob's Garage) only eight (8) minutes after receiving the call. The Officer observed a black Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a male wearing a black leather jacket leaning on the motorcycle. Hence, the location given in the call, the description of the vehicle, and the description of what the individual was wearing were all corroborated. The Officer further testified that he had a duty to investigate and therefore approached [the driver of the vehicle]. Officer McBreen could not recall whether he had activated his overhead lights, but he indicated they may have been on.

Trial Court Opinion at 2-3 (citations to N.T. omitted).

         We further note that Officer McBreen testified the garage was closed and there were no other cars around at time of ...


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