This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Brandon Dale Kuznia,
Filed September 4, 2007
Otter Tail County District Court
File No. TX-06-877
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
David J. Hauser,
Peter J. Timmons, 700 Wells
Max Allen Keller,
Considered and decided by Wright, Presiding Judge; Minge, Judge; and Worke, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from a conviction for snowmobiling while intoxicated, appellant argues that the district court erred in finding that (1) a 911 tipster was sufficiently identified and provided enough information to justify the seizure of appellant, and (2) the officer had a reasonable, articulable suspicion to seize him. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
“When reviewing pretrial orders on motions to
suppress evidence, we may independently review the facts and determine, as a
matter of law, whether the district court erred in suppressing—or not
suppressing—the evidence.” State v. Harris, 590 N.W.2d 90, 98 (
Here, in the early morning hours, an officer responded to a 911 call received from an individual who indicated that he witnessed numerous individuals “falling down” as they left a bar. The caller provided his name, but indicated that he wanted to remain anonymous. The caller stated that the individuals were driving red or black Polaris snowmobiles. The officer headed in the direction that the caller stated the snowmobilers were traveling. Approximately one-quarter mile later, the officer encountered a group of snowmobilers parked either in the ditch or on the side of the road. The snowmobiles were similar to those reported by the caller. One of the snowmobilers sped away as the squad car approached. The officer activated his emergency lights, but the fleeing snowmobiler did not stop. The officer parked his squad car on the side of the road and left his emergency lights activated because it was dark and the roads were slippery. When the officer approached the snowmobilers to investigate, he noted that the individuals were not clear in responding to his inquiry regarding where they had come from, exhibited slurred speech, and were swaying from side-to-side. The individuals also almost fell over when they removed their helmets.
Appellant Brandon Dale Kuznia argues that he was seized when the officer approached him and his group while the officer’s emergency lights were activated. A reasonable person would not feel free to leave under the circumstances; thus, it is reasonable that appellant was seized at that point. However, a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity existed and the investigatory stop of appellant was not unreasonable.
Appellant also challenges the reliability of the
individual who placed the 911 call. In
order to justify a traffic stop, an informant’s tip must possess sufficient
“indicia of reliability.” Olson v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 371
N.W.2d 552, 556 (