Commonwealth v. ManhaAnnotate this Case
The police in this case had the authority to stop and perform a Terry-type search of a motor vehicle after an anonymous 911 caller reported that the driver of the vehicle threatened the caller, a fellow motorist, with a gun.
Defendant, the driver of the vehicle at issue, was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon. On appeal, Defendant argued that the police lacked probable cause to stop his vehicle, and therefore, the trial court should have suppressed the pellet gun found in his vehicle. The Appeals Court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the information possessed by the police gave them reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop and perform a protective sweep of Defendant’s vehicle; (2) given the safety concerns of the police, reasonable suspicion was all that was required; and (3) therefore, the motion judge properly denied the motion to suppress.