from the Judgment of Sentence Entered June 7, 2018 In the
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal
Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0001903-2017
BEFORE: BOWES, J., OLSON, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E.
Davon Markiem Wright, appeals from the judgment of sentence
entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County
following his conviction by a jury on the charges of
possession of firearm prohibited, firearms not to be carried
without a license, carrying firearms in public in
Philadelphia, and unlawful body armor. After a careful
review, we affirm.
relevant facts and procedural history are as follows:
Following his arrest, Appellant filed a counseled omnibus
pre-trial motion seeking the suppression of physical evidence
seized by the police. Specifically, Appellant averred the
police lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to
detain him beyond what was necessary to effectuate a routine
traffic stop. The matter proceeded to a suppression hearing
on July 18, 2017, at which Philadelphia Police Officer John
Lang was the sole testifying witness.
Lang, who has been a police officer for over eleven years,
testified that, on February 14, 2017, he and his partner were
dispatched to Club Onyx on South Columbus Boulevard to
investigate threats made against the club. N.T., 7/18/17, at
7-9, 15. Club Onyx is in an area where "numerous
shootings" and "a few homicides" have
occurred. Id. at 15-16. As the officers were driving
a marked police cruiser to the club, at approximately 11:20
p.m., they observed a black Hyundai parked a short distance
from the club in one of the two southbound travel lanes of
Columbus Boulevard. Id. at 9-10. The officers did
not effectuate a stop of the Hyundai, but continued to the
club to perform their investigation. Id. at 10.
officers were in the club for approximately thirty to
forty-five minutes, and when they left, they travelled
northbound on Columbus Boulevard. Id. As they drove
away from the club, they noticed the same black Hyundai was
still parked in the same southbound travel lane of Columbus
Boulevard. Id. at 10-12.
point, the officers drove their police vehicle across the
island between the northbound and southbound lanes and parked
in front of the black Hyundai so that the vehicles came
"bumper to bumper" with each other. Id. at
10. Officer Lang testified they "indicate[d] a traffic
stop" because the black Hyundai was parked near the club
where they were investigating the threat offenses, and
additionally, the vehicle was parked in a lane of travel as
opposed to being in a proper parking spot. Id. at
10-11. Officer Lang noted that people are not "allowed
to park in that lane[, ]" and "it's very
hazardous to…park there." Id. at 11.
Lang testified that, after he and his partner initiated the
traffic stop, he approached the driver's side of the
black Hyundai while his partner approached the
passenger's side. Id. at 12. Appellant was
sitting in the driver's seat; there were no passengers in
the black Hyundai. Id. Officer Lang testified he
approached Appellant and asked him for his license,
registration, and insurance card. Id. He also asked
Appellant why he was parked in the travel lane, and Appellant
responded that he was "using his cell phone[.]"
Id. Officer Lang testified he had not seen Appellant
using his cell phone. Id. at 12-13. Officer Lang
indicated that at this point in the interaction, Appellant,
who was wearing tactical pants, used his left hand to grab
towards a small pocket on his left pant leg while his right
hand went towards the gearshift in the center console.
Id. at 13.
Appellant was going to drive away, Officer Lang and his
partner repeatedly requested that Appellant exit the vehicle,
and despite Appellant saying "I am, I am, I am[, ]"
Appellant made no move to exit the vehicle. Id. at
13-14. Instead, Appellant continued to reach for the
gearshift. Id. at 14. Officer Lang opened the
driver's side door and, at this point, he noticed
Appellant was wearing a ballistic vest with a police-style
insignia or badge indicating "agent." Id.
Appellant was also wearing a thin, partially unzipped
windbreaker over the vest. Id. Officer Lang observed
that the front center pocket of the windbreaker was
"very weighted down," and based on his training, he
believed there was a firearm in the pocket. Id. at
14-15. Appellant continued to resist exiting the black
Hyundai while reaching for the gearshift, so Officer Lang,
who feared for his safety, with the assistance of his
partner, forcibly removed Appellant from the black Hyundai.
Id. at 15, 20.
they removed Appellant from the vehicle, they put him
face-down on the ground, and Officer Lang "hear[d] a
clanking sound when [Appellant] hit the ground."
Id. at 21. Officer Lang believed the "clanking
sound" was the sound of a gun hitting the ground.
Id. Officer Lang indicated that Appellant would not
put his hands behind his back but kept them underneath his
body. Id. When Officer Lang reached under Appellant
to grab his hands, he felt the firearm. Id. The
officer took the firearm, which was a loaded Glock 19, and
slid it underneath the parked black Hyundai so that it was
out of everyone's reach. Id. at 22. Appellant
was then successfully handcuffed. Id.
Lang testified the police seized from Appellant's person
the ballistics vest, a PA certified badge, a bail enforcement
badge, a Philadelphia permit to carry a firearm, a certified
agent identification card, and a laminated bail enforcement
identification card. Id. at 23. Officer Lang later
determined that Appellant's permit to carry a firearm was
not valid. Id.
conclusion of the hearing, the suppression court denied
Appellant's suppression motion, and on March 26, 2018, a
jury convicted Appellant of the offenses indicated
supra. On June 7, 2018, the trial court sentenced
Appellant to eight years to sixteen years in prison, to be
followed by eighteen months of probation, for possession of a
firearm prohibited; three years to six years in prison, to be
followed by eighteen months of probation, for firearms not to
be carried without a license; and three years to six years in
prison, to be followed by eighteen months of probation, for
unlawful body armor. The sentences were imposed concurrently
to each other; no further penalty was imposed for carrying
firearms in public in Philadelphia.
filed a timely, counseled motion for reconsideration of
sentence, which was denied by operation of law on October 5,
2018. On October 16, 2018, ...