United States v. Pontoo, No. 10-2455 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
A few hours after a domestic disturbance, Austin was spotted trying to get into his former girlfriend's apartment and given disorderly conduct and criminal trespass warnings. He was later spotted, visibly agitated, in a park, in violation of an ordinance closing the park over night. A civil citation issued. In response to a call from a payphone, indicating that a woman had been killed at the girlfriend's address, different officers went to the area and stopped defendant who matched Austin's general description and was walking on the street. A pat-frisk revealed a gun. It later came to light that the call was a hoax and that defendant was not involved with Austin. Defendant was convicted as a felon in possession, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1). The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the arrest was based on probable cause, following a valid "Terry" stop that was brief and appropriate to the circumstances.