By Daniella Espinoza
DUBLIN, CA – An Alameda County Superior Court judge this week denied a motion to suppress evidence in a preliminary for Jason Young, who’s facing a dozen felony charges, including forgery of a driver’s license and fraudulent possession of personal information.
Young found himself back in court after being detained in front of a San Ramon Walmart location when law enforcement officers found existing warrants.
According to Defense Attorney Zafir Omair Shaiq, at the time of the arrest, officers had “at no point received word that Mr. Young was suspected of just having committed a crime in Alameda County.”
Instead, Young’s counsel said that while Young had been detained, he remained in handcuffs for 18 minutes before he was formally arrested.
During the arrest and before officers even had confirmation of Young’s warrants, the accused (who was not “nervous [or suspected] of trying to make a runaway or evade capture]” was left to sit in the back of a police vehicle in the presence of five officers, said the defense.
In an effort to further understand the context of Young’s arrest, the defense then turned to a cross-examination of law enforcement officers.
One witness, Deputy (first name not available) Walker testified that he had “received a notification that he [Young] was trying to travel away from the city of Dublin.”
While this information is said to usually come from an email or can “come directly to a vehicle,” Walker noted that in this case, their information on Young’s status had actually come from GroupMe, a commonly accessed app for “people to send group texts to each other.”
According to Deputy Walker, the information on Young was provided by either “Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office or Danville PD,” and it was never confirmed “where they got their information.”
Defense Attorney Shaiq charged the very information which led to the arrest of Young was not gathered through typical means like viewing a license plate reader of the suspected person.
The defense argued, instead, Deputy Walker’s testimony points to the fact that any use of such procedures was rendered “untrue and he had gotten all of that information through a text message on a group message that’s not in any way associated with or monitored by his police department.”
In an attempt to declare the very circumstance for arrest as unlawful, Shaiq said, “there was not adequate reasonable suspicion to detain Mr. Young due to the fact that a text message does not satisfy the requirements of parties.
“The prosecution is required to show that the officer who originally furnished the information had probable cause to believe that the suspect committed a felony,” he added.
In a continued attempt to strike the testimony from the case, the defense further argued, “In other words, the prosecution must show ‘the source of the information isn’t something other than the imagination of an officer who does not become a witness.’ Yet this is exactly what we have here.”
Despite the arguments presented, Judge Barbara Dickinson ultimately ruled that Young was “certainly detained, [they] had reasonable suspicion to detain, [and] based on the information regarding Mr. Young’s position in the car, it did not turn into a de facto arrest. So, detention is good, the arrest is good.”
Furthermore, to turn to the inventory search of Young’s car which followed the arrest, the judge said “He was parked along a red curve. That’s uncontroverted; he was not parked legally. There are policies regarding inventory searches and towing. So I do believe that those issues are satisfied as well. So the motion to suppress is denied.”