Motion to Suppress Evidence and Arrest in Reckless Driving Case Denied after Officer Testimony

By Joshua Cenzano

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Judge Clifford Anderson denied a defense motion Monday here in Santa Barbara County Superior Court to suppress evidence and arrest of “C—–“*, who faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and resisting arrest.

(*NOTE: C—– is not the accused’s real name. The Vanguard no longer uses the real name of most misdemeanor accused.)

Defense attorney William Makler argued in court the conduct of the arresting officer did not garner the reasonable suspicion required to detain Allen nor the probable cause required to arrest him.

The primary evidence was provided by Officer Kelly of the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol, who initially stopped C—– for a supposed parking violation.

The defense submitted photographic and video evidence to the court of the encounter and argued that C—–’s original parking violation was misrepresented by the officer.

“He (Kelly) was very biased in everything he said and did,” argued Makler in his closing argument.

He compared several details of Kelly’s testimony with the photographic evidence presented in court, noting certain subtle discrepancies and suggesting the officer exaggerated certain details to legitimize C—–’s detention and subsequent arrest.

The officer’s testimony held that he was citing C—–’s car for a parking violation when C—– quickly approached, entered his car, and drove away, impacting the officer’s foot with his tire in the process.

C—– responded to verbal commands to stop after driving for about 12 feet, according to the officer, and was subsequently detained and arrested.

The defense took issue with the officer’s characterization of the encounter, relying on certain aspects of Kelly’s report as well as the photographic evidence presented to create doubt as to the veracity of his account.

For example, Kelly testified in court that C—–’s car had been blocking a pedestrian walkway; the defense noted he had failed to mention that explicitly in his report and presented a picture of the car’s position at the time, showing that the intersection with the crosswalk was not as definite as the officer made it seem.

Makler structured his motion to suppress around discrepancies such as this, asking the court to recognize the police’s failure to establish reasonable suspicion and probable cause for C—–’s detention and subsequent arrest.

Upon consideration, Judge Anderson denied the defense motion to suppress and a trial is set to commence in the near future.

About The Author

Joshua is a second-year student at UCSB majoring in history. He is from Port Hueneme, California and is pursuing a career in law.

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