Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland
from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee GARY D. BISHOP Prosecuting Attorney By:
BRANDON PIGG Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.
Defendant-Appellant ROBERT GOLDBERGER.
W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E.
Appellant Dontarious Sylvester appeals a judgment of the
Mansfield County Common Pleas Court convicting him of
possession of heroin (R.C. 2925.11(A), (C)(6)), possession of
cocaine (R.C. 2925.11(A), (C)(4), and possession of marijuana
(R.C. 2925.11(A)) upon a plea of no contest. Appellee is the
State of Ohio.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
On May 2, 2015, Officer Paul Webb of the Mansfield Police
Department responded to a call concerning a fight in Johns
Park in Mansfield. The report stated that about 20 people
were involved in the fight, and a man had a gun. The man with
the gun was described as a black man with dreads, wearing red
shorts. The call further stated that the man with the gun was
near a black Monte Carlo. Officer Webb knew Johns Park to be
an area associated with shootings and drug crime.
When Webb arrived on the scene, Officer Grimshaw was talking
to a man at the black Monte Carlo. Webb saw four to five
males walking away from the car, including appellant.
Appellant was with a Mr. Hammett, who had dreadlocks and also
had a warrant.
Webb asked the men to stop, and they complied. Appellant was
the closest person to Webb, so he advised appellant that he
was going to pat him down for weapons. Based on Webb's
experience, it was not uncommon for more than one gun to be
involved in a fight of this nature. He asked appellant to
place his hands against a nearby fence, and began an open
palm pat-down for weapons. He felt a large object in
appellant's right pocket. Because it was "pretty
large, " Webb squeezed the item to make sure it was not
a weapon. Upon squeezing it, he recognized the object as a
baggie of marijuana. He stopped immediately and asked
appellant what the object was. Appellant responded that it
was marijuana. Appellant was placed under arrest. At the
Richland County Jail, officers discovered cocaine and heroin
in appellant's left sock.
Appellant was indicted by the Richland County Grand Jury with
possession of heroin, possession of cocaine, and possession
of marijuana. Appellant filed a motion to suppress, arguing
that the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion of
criminal activity to justify the stop and pat-down, and that
the officer could not seize the baggie of marijuana based on
the plain feel doctrine. After a hearing, the trial court
overruled the motion to suppress. Appellant pled no contest
to all charges and was sentenced to thirty months of
Appellant assigns a single error:
"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE MOTION TO ...