Kevin Bibbins v. USA, No. 09-16775 (9th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed convictions of resisting a government employee or agent and obstructing a license plate where the charges arose out of a traffic stop that escalated into an altercation between defendant and four park rangers. Defendant had a broken leg and was driving a motorhome that was towing a pick-up truck when he was stopped. At issue was whether defendant's convictions were supported by substantial evidence, whether defendant was entitled to a necessity defense when he resisted the park rangers due to his broken leg, and whether a towed-vehicle, by definition, was not "self-propelled" for purposes of 36 C.F.R. 4.2(b). The court held that there was substantial evidence in the record to support defendant's conviction where a reasonable factfinder could find that defendant willfully resisted arrest when he tensed his arms and made fists, jerked his right arm out of two park rangers' grips, did not get on the ground when ordered to do so, and rotated his body to the right. The court also held that substantial evidence supported the rejection of defendant's necessity defense where he failed to demonstrate that no rational factfinder, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, would reject his necessity defense. The court further held that it would be illogical to consider "self-propelled" as an impermanent quality and affirmed defendant's conviction for obscuring a license plate under section 4.2(b).