Heard: April 1, 2016.
received and sworn to in the Dorchester Division of the
Boston Municipal Court Department on April 12, 2012.
transfer to the Central Division of the Boston Municipal
Court Department, a pretrial motion to suppress evidence was
heard by Michael J. Coyne, J., and the case was heard by
Thomas C. Horgan, J.
A. Marshall for the defendant.
Kathryn Leary, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present: Meade, Wolohojian, & Maldonado, JJ.
case, we consider whether the warrantless entry by police
into a residence was justified where the entry was made while
chasing the defendant, who fled from police during a stop for
a civil infraction of marijuana possession. Concluding that
these circumstances do not give rise to any exigency that
would authorize the police to follow the defendant into a
residence, we reverse.
April 11, 2012, at about 8:50 P.M., two undercover Boston
police officers, while patrolling the Dorchester section of
Boston, approached a legally parked vehicle in which sat
three males. The vehicle was "consumed with smoke"
and condensation had formed on the rear windshield. The
defendant was seated in the front passenger seat. As the
officers approached the vehicle, the defendant opened the
door and stepped outside. Smoke emanated from the vehicle,
and the officers were struck by a "strong" odor of
the officers, Officer Beliveau, who had experience and
training in drug related crimes, was approaching the
passenger side and ordered the defendant to get back inside
the vehicle. The defendant sat back in the front passenger
seat but his legs protruded outside the vehicle through the
door. Beliveau repeated his command, and the defendant
repositioned himself fully into the vehicle. "[I]n the
passenger compartment of that door, " Beliveau then
observed a small plastic glassine bag, a copper grinder
(commonly used to break up marijuana so that it could be more
easily rolled into cigarettes), and cigar wrappers.
"[G]reen leafy matter" was observed inside the
defendant appeared very nervous. He told Beliveau, who was
standing before him, that he felt nauseous and wanted to
throw up; he asked the officer to step aside to make room for
him to vomit. Beliveau jokingly quipped that he must have
smoked some "bad weed, " but he did not move away.
Beliveau, instead, leaned into the vehicle and addressed the
back seat passenger (passenger).
asked the passenger and the defendant for identification. The
passenger produced identification, but he was also asked by
Beliveau if he had ever been arrested or on probation. The
passenger responded that he had been arrested for a firearm
charge and was on probation. The defendant responded that he
did not have any identification on him, but he disclosed his
name and date of birth. Beliveau jotted that information in
his notebook, and likewise asked the defendant several
additional questions, including whether he had any warrants,
was on probation, or had ever been arrested. The defendant
responded that he had been arrested, but Beliveau could not
remember if he disclosed the charge. At that point, which was
approximately four minutes from the time the officers
approached the vehicle, Beliveau's partner called for
a woman started approaching the vehicle and asked the
officers what was going on. Beliveau told the woman that they
were conducting an investigation that would take only a
couple of minutes, and he asked her to step back. The woman
complied, and the defendant identified her as his mother.
a few minutes, two uniformed officers arrived. One of those
officers positioned himself near the defendant. Beliveau
handed his notebook to his partner, who began checking the
defendant's information in the computer located in the
cruiser. Beliveau also went around the vehicle to the
driver's side rear door and continued his investigation
of the passenger. When Beliveau began pat frisking that
individual, which was seven to eight minutes after Beliveau
and his partner first approached the vehicle, the defendant
officers chased after the defendant, while Beliveau remained
at the scene. The officers yelled for the defendant to stop,
but he kept running. As the officers chased the defendant,
there was a group of people on the sidewalk. The defendant
ran approximately forty or fifty feet to a side door of 440
Gallivan Boulevard, which was later determined to be his
residence. He entered the residence without the use of force
or a key. The officers followed the defendant into the
residence; there were other individuals in the residence at
that time. The defendant ran through the kitchen and the
dining room to the front hallway, where the officers tackled
him. Once on the ground, without giving the defendant any
Miranda warnings, ...