New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department
May 2, 2013
IN RE CHAZ J., A PERSON ALLEGED TO BE A JUVENILE DELINQUENT, APPELLANT.
Matter of Chaz J.
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.
Decided on May 2, 2013 Mazzarelli, J.P., Andrias, Saxe, Manzanet-Daniels, Gische, JJ.
Order of disposition, Family Court, New York County (Ruben A. Martino, J.), entered on or about February 8, 2012, which adjudicated appellant a juvenile delinquent upon a fact-finding determination that he had committed an act constituting possession of a box cutter in a public place by a person under 21 in violation of Administrative Code of City of NY § 10-134.1(e), and placed him on probation for a period of 12 months, unanimously affirmed, without costs.
The court properly denied defendant's suppression motion. The police saw appellant and three associates encircling a food delivery worker in an area where there had been a pattern of robberies of such workers. This provided, at least, an objective credible reason to approach appellant's group and request information (see People v De Bour, 40 NY2d 210, 223 ). The police conduct in requesting that the group "hold up a second" in order to question them did not elevate the encounter to that of a seizure or a common-law inquiry (see e.g. People v Bora, 83 NY2d 531, 534-535 ; People v Reyes, 83 NY2d 945 ).
One of appellant's associates then threw a knife into nearby bushes. When coupled with the prior "encircling" behavior, this fact gave the police, at least, a founded suspicion that appellant and the others may have been engaged in a joint criminal enterprise. Since the officers had a founded suspicion of criminality, they were justified in conducting a common-law inquiry by asking appellant and his associates whether they were in possession of any weapons (see People v Garcia, 20 NY3d 317 ). Appellant's response led to the lawful recovery of a box cutter.
THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.
ENTERED: MAY 2, 2013
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