Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Appeal from Municipal Court T.C. NO. 16-CRB-3557)
D. SEXTON, Atty. Reg. No. 0070892, Assistant City Prosecutor,
Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee
JOSEPH HYDE, Atty. Reg. No. 0093802, Assistant Public
Defender, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant
1} Defendant-appellant Ray L. Reno appeals his
conviction and sentence for one count possession of a drug
abuse instrument, in violation of R.C. 2925.12(A), a
misdemeanor of the second degree. Reno filed a timely notice
of appeal with this Court on August 16, 2016.
2} The incident which forms the basis of the instant
appeal occurred on May 29, 2016, at approximately 11:00 p.m.,
when Dayton Police Officers Bryan Camden and Angela Woody
were dispatched to investigate a suspicious person complaint
at the 1400 block of Steiner Avenue in Dayton, Ohio. The
dispatch was based upon an anonymous tip from a female who
only identified herself as "Mrs. Jones." Both
Officer Camden and Officer Woody testified that they did not
know "Mrs. Jones, " nor did either officer attempt
to make contact with her. "Mrs. Jones" stated that
she personally observed an unidentified white male walking
down an alley south of Steiner Avenue "looking
into" or "checking around" garages. "Mrs.
Jones" further described the white male as wearing a
gray shirt, a hat of unknown color, and blue jeans.
"Mrs. Jones" claimed that she had personally
witnessed the unidentified white male acting suspiciously
only five minutes before she decided to call the police.
3} Acting upon the tip from "Mrs. Jones, "
Officers Camden and Woody, who were in a marked police
cruiser, traveled to where the suspicious person had been
seen and began a search of the area. The officers did not
initially observe anyone in the alley south of Steiner Avenue
where the tip originated. However, upon further investigation
of the surrounding area, the officers observed a white male,
later identified as Reno, walking down a sidewalk located at
the corner of Steiner Avenue and Euclid Avenue. Both Officers
Camden and Woody testified that the individual was wearing a
light tan shirt, blue jeans, but no hat. Neither officer
observed Reno engaged in any illegal activity when they first
located him. Both officers testified that Reno's
appearance closely matched the description provided by
4} Officer Camden testified that at that point he
shined his cruiser's spotlight on Reno. Officer Woody
testified that Officer Camden gave Reno a distinct order to
stop. Officer Camden testified that Reno looked to his left
at the police cruiser and then immediately "bladed"
his body to the right and began reaching towards his right
torso area. The officers both defined the act of
"blading" as when a suspect abruptly turns his body
away from police at an angle where his or her hands cannot be
seen. After Reno turned away from the police and began
reaching towards his right side, Officer Camden ordered him
to stop moving and show his hands. Based upon Reno's
actions up to this point, Officer Camden believed that he may
have been carrying a concealed weapon.
5} Officer Camden exited his cruiser and began a pat
down search of Reno. Officer Camden discovered a hypodermic
syringe in the right front pocket of Reno's jeans. After
finding the syringe, the officers subsequently observed
further signs of Reno's drug use, namely that his pupils
were dilated, and he had puncture marks on his arms. Reno was
then arrested and taken into custody.
6} On May 31, 2016, Reno was charged by complaint
with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one
count of possession of a drug abuse instrument. At his
arraignment on the same day, Reno pled not guilty to both
counts and was released on his own recognizance.
7} On June 22, 2016, Reno filed a motion to
suppress, wherein he argued that the police violated his
constitutional rights when they performed a warrantless
search of his person based upon an uncorroborated tip from an
anonymous informant. After a hearing held on July 19, 2016,
the trial court overruled Reno's motion to suppress from
the bench. The trial court later issued a decision and entry
overruling Reno's motion on July 19, 2016.
8} Shortly thereafter on August 4, 2016, Reno pled
no contest to one count of possession of a drug abuse
instrument, in violation of R.C. 2925.12(A), a misdemeanor of
the second degree. The State dismissed the remaining count.
The trial court sentenced Reno to ninety days jail,
suspended, a fine of $200.00, also suspended, and court
costs. Reno was placed on supervised probation for one year,
ordered to abstain from the use of alcohol and/or drugs, and
ordered to complete treatment at the Cornerstone Project. On
August 17, 2016, Reno filed a motion for stay of execution of
his sentence pending the outcome of his appeal. The trial
court granted Reno's motion for stay of his sentence on
August 22, 2016.
9} It is from this judgment that Reno now appeals.
10} Reno's sole assignment of error is as
11} "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT REFUSED TO
SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM MR. RENO IN VIOLATION OF
HIS 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS."
12} In his sole assignment, Reno argues that the
trial court erred when it overruled his motion to suppress.
Specifically, Reno contends that the uncorroborated tip from
an anonymous informant did not provide the ...