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In re D.G.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

June 14, 2017

IN RE: D.G.

         Appeals From: Hamilton County Juvenile Court TRIAL NOS. 14-9637X, 14-9639X, 14-9638X, 15-1923X

          Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Alex Scott Havlin, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee State of Ohio

          Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, and Caitlin J. Burgess and Julie Kahrs Nessler, Assistant Public Defenders, for Appellant D.G.

          OPINION

          Myers, Judge.

         {¶1} Appellant D.G. has appealed from the trial court's entries overruling his objections to and adopting the magistrate's decisions denying his motion to suppress, and adjudicating him delinquent of violating a court order, menacing, disorderly conduct, and harassment by an inmate. Finding no merit to his three assignments of error, we affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         {¶2} At approximately 9:15 a.m. on November 5, 2014, D.G. was stopped by Norwood police officer Richard Krummen and placed under arrest for violating Norwood's daytime-curfew ordinance. While being transported in Officer Krummen's cruiser, D.G. spit on Officer Krummen's face, threatened to kill him, and continually kicked the windows of the cruiser.

         {¶3} The state filed a complaint alleging that D.G. was a delinquent child because, by violating Norwood's daytime curfew, he had violated a previous court order requiring him to "submit to [the] lawful care, custody, and control of parent, guardian, custodian, and teachers [and to obey all laws]." Additional complaints were filed alleging that D.G. was a delinquent child for committing acts that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the offenses of menacing, disorderly conduct, and harassment by an inmate.

         {¶4} D.G. filed a motion to suppress, arguing that his arrest for a violation of Norwood's daytime-curfew ordinance had not been supported by probable cause because he had been on his way to school at the time that he was stopped by Officer Krummen. D.G. contended that travel to and from school was an exception to the daytime curfew. Following a hearing, the magistrate denied D.G.'s motion to suppress. The magistrate found that Officer Krummen had probable cause to arrest D.G. for a daytime-curfew violation and determined that the issue of whether D.G. had been on his way to school was a potential defense to the charge that was to be resolved at trial.

         {¶5} The case proceeded to trial immediately following the magistrate's denial of D.G.'s motion to suppress. The testimony given during the suppression hearing was incorporated into the trial for the magistrate to consider. D.G. was adjudicated delinquent of all charges. The trial court denied D.G.'s motion to set aside the magistrate's decisions, overruled his objections to the decisions, and adopted the decisions.

         Motion to Suppress

         {¶6} In his first assignment of error, D.G. argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because his warrantless arrest for a violation of Norwood's daytime-curfew ordinance was not supported by probable cause.

         {¶7} Our review of a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress presents a mixed question of law and fact. State v. Burnside, 100 Ohio St.3d 152, 2003-Ohio-5372, 797 N.E.2d 71, ¶ 8. We must accept the trial court's findings of fact if they are supported by competent and credible evidence, but we review de novo the application of the relevant law to those facts. Id.

         {¶8} Probable cause exists to support a warrantless arrest when "the arresting officer, at the time of the arrest, possess[es] sufficient information that would cause a reasonable and prudent person to believe that a criminal offense has been or is being committed." State v. Kraus, 1st Dist. Hamilton Nos. C-070428 and C-070429, 2008-Ohio-3965, ¶ 16, quoting State v. Elmore,111 Ohio St.3d 515, 2006-Ohio-6207, 857 N.E.2d ...


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