This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
John Edgar Hanson,
Filed November 19, 2002
Ramsey County District Court
File No. T001631325
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
Thomas R. Hughes, New Brighton City Attorney, 1230 Landmark Tower, 345 St. Peter Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent)
Rory P. Durkin, Giancola Law Office, PLLC, 403 Jackson Street, Suite #305, Anoka, MN 55303 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
Appellant John Edgar Hanson was convicted of obstructing legal process under Minn. Stat. § 609.50, subd. 1(2) (2000) (making it a misdemeanor for a person to obstruct, resist, or interfere with an officer in the performance of his or her official duties). Because, based on the facts in the record and the legitimate inferences that can be drawn from those facts, the district court could reasonably conclude that appellant intentionally ran away from a police officer and physically resisted the officer’s attempts to subdue him, we affirm.
On review of a claim of insufficient evidence, the same standards apply to a conviction obtained after a jury trial or a bench trial. State v. Hughes, 355 N.W.2d 500, 502 (Minn. App. 1984). The record is viewed in the light most favorable to the conviction to determine “whether, on facts in the record and legitimate inferences drawn therefrom, a jury or court could reasonably conclude that the defendant was guilty.” State v. Nelson, 632 N.W.2d 193, 203 (Minn. 2001) (citation omitted).
Physical resistance to an officer constitutes obstruction of legal process. State v. Occhino, 572 N.W.2d 316, 320-21 (Minn. App. 1997), review denied (Minn. Jan. 28, 1998). And because intent is a state of mind, “it is generally proved by inferences drawn from a person’s words or actions in light of all the surrounding circumstances.” State v. Thompson, 544 N.W.2d 8, 11 (Minn. 1996) (citation omitted).
The evidence here showed that on August 5, 2001, at about 4:00 p.m., appellant was at a beach in New Brighton videotaping people, including 16- and 17-year-old girls. One witness, a 16-year-old boy, testified that appellant became angry when confronted about his activities. The boy testified that after the lifeguard told appellant that the police had been called, appellant packed up his belongings and started to walk fast into the woods. He was followed by a number of people from the beach.
When Officer Trevor Hamdorf arrived at the beach, he saw several people running into the nearby woods. Hamdorf followed, accompanied by the 16-year-old boy. Hamdorf and the boy both testified that Hamdorf yelled “stop police” at appellant, but that appellant continued to run away. The two caught up with appellant as he was being held by some of the other people who had chased him into the woods. Hamdorf, who was in full uniform, grabbed appellant by the arm. Appellant continued to struggle with Hamdorf, attempting to pull away, until Hamdorf was able to pin appellant to the ground and place him in handcuffs.
Appellant testified that he was scared because he was being chased by 15 angry people who had been making fun of and harassing him at the beach. He testified that when he asked the lifeguard for help, the lifeguard did nothing. Appellant claimed that he eventually tried to get away and headed for the woods because he was afraid that the group might follow him to his car in the parking lot and write down his license number. He claimed that he did not know that an officer was chasing him and that he stopped resisting when he realized that Hamdorf was an officer.
However, the court was entirely free to reject appellant’s testimony and to believe the testimony of the state’s witnesses, who included Officer Hamdorf and the 16-year-old. See State v. Engholm, 290 N.W.2d 780, 784 (Minn. 1980) (stating that “it is the province of the jury to determine the credibility and weight to be given to the testimony of any individual witnesses”). The court was also entirely free to draw legitimate inferences from the evidence and to find that appellant knew that Hamdorf was a police officer, but that appellant continued to flee in order to resist or interfere with Hamdorf’s attempts to investigate what was going on at the beach.
We therefore conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support appellant’s conviction for obstructing legal process.