In re Chase C.Annotate this Case
Appellant Chase C. (a minor) was charged with resisting, delaying, or obstructing a peace officer. An adjudication hearing was held, at which the juvenile court found the allegation against Chase to be true. The court adjudged Chase a ward of the court and placed him on formal probation for one year or until Chase's 18th birthday, whichever was longer. These proceedings were instituted over an incident in May 2014, when a San Diego Sheriff's Deputy was conducting a foot patrol through Turtle Park, in the Forest Ranch area of San Diego. The deputy was not in full uniform at the time, but was wearing either an external raid vest with "Sheriff" written on it, or a Sheriff shirt with patches. The deputy was approached by a group of middle school children, who told him that two high school aged children had tried to sell them drugs. The issue this case presented for the Court of Appeal's review centered on a novel issue regarding whether Chase (once the deputy caught up with a group of teens matching the middle schoolers' descriptions) who allegedly urged his cohorts not to cooperate with a police investigation, rose to the level of a violation of Penal Code1 section 148. This case called for the Court to determine when a refusal to cooperate with police becomes unlawful interference with police activity under section 148. The Court concluded that refusal to cooperate only becomes criminal when it obstructs lawful police activity. Here, substantial evidence did not support the trial court's finding with regard to section 148(a)(1), and reversed.