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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Gayleen Anderson, an officer with the New Braunfels Police Department, was on overnight patrol in June 2003 when she passed by Doug’s Barbeque and noticed a red-and-white Ford truck with a camper shell on it driving slowly from the back of the restaurant. Anderson knew there was a lean-to shed between the back of the restaurant and a semicircular driveway and beyond that a field bounded by trees. Anderson knew the restaurant had been closed for several hours. She also knew that about five weeks earlier, two windows of a nearby business had been broken from thrown rocks. It was 1:30 a.m., and Anderson wanted to find out why the truck was driving in the restaurant’s parking lot. Anderson followed the truck, and even though it did not commit any traffic violations, Anderson decided to pull it over. Anderson asked the driver for his license, which the driver, David Cronin, admitted was expired, and proof of insurance, which Cronin admitted he did not have. Noticing Cronin’s registration sticker was partially torn, Anderson placed Cronin under arrest. Anderson’s partner, Bill Spence, searched Cronin’s truck and found methamphetamine and marijuana. The state charged Cronin with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in an amount of four grams or more, but less than 200 grams. Cronin moved to suppress the evidence seized from his truck, but the trial court ruled that Anderson had a reasonable suspicion to justify pulling Cronin over. On appeal, Cronin appeals the trial court’s conclusion of law that Anderson’s testimony provided specific, articulable facts that gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that Cronin was engaged in criminal activity. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The court sets for the standard for review: that the “reasonableness of a temporary detention must be examined in terms of the totality of the circumstances at its inception and will be justified when the detaining officer has specific articulable facts, which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, lead her to conclude that the person detained actually is, has been, or soon will be engaged in criminal activity.” The court adds that mere presence in a high-crime area is not enough to justify a stop, and also that an officer’s mere subjective opinion does not rise to the level of articulable facts. The court acknowledges that cases are to be reviewed one by one, but the court also notes that several other courts have, on similar facts, concluded that the stop was not justified by reasonable suspicion. The same conclusion should be reached here, the court holds. “Officer Anderson testified that she did not witness any traffic violations or erratic driving and that Cronin was not trespassing. Nothing in the record indicates that there was anything suspicious about the appearance of the vehicle or its driver. Although Anderson was aware of the vandalism five weeks earlier, she knew of no other criminal activity in the area for over a decade. This was not a high crime area.” The court also adds that there is nothing about the layout of the restaurant parking lot itself that would indicate that Cronin’s presence in the lot meant that he was “up to no good.” His presence might have been suspicious, but without anything else, there was nothing to indicate that he was engaged in criminal activity. Further, nothing linked either Cronin or Cronin’s vehicle to the prior acts of vandalism more than a month earlier, Cronin did not commit any driving infractions, and he did not make any evasive or furtive gestures in Anderson’s presence. “Nor does the fact that Officer Anderson actually found drugs in Cronin’s vehicle justify her detaining Cronin only on a hunch,” the court adds. OPINION:Smith, J.; Law, C.J., Smith and Pemberton, JJ. DISSENT:Pemberton, J. The dissent does not believe that the majority correctly applied the two-pronged totality-of-the-circumstances analysis, which requires review of the whole picture leading up to the stop, and then a review of the objective reasonableness of the investigatory detention. “I would hold that Officer Anderson did not act unreasonably in suspecting that crime was likely afoot when she witnessed Cronin appearing to emerge from a secluded, inaccessible storage area behind a closed business at 1:30 a.m. on a weeknight, especially where the streets were empty, she had never previously witnessed anyone in the parking lot after midnight, it was unusual for anyone to be in the area behind the business, and that area contained only a storage building. I would accordingly hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Cronin’s motion to suppress and affirm the district court’s judgment.” Conduct that might appear purely innocent in a vacuum, the court adds, can nonetheless give rise to reasonable suspicion when viewed amid the totality of the circumstances.

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