This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat.  480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).


State of Minnesota,


Lance Aloysius Demuth,

Filed August 13, 1996
Harten, Judge

Dakota County District Court
File No. K7-95-655

Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 14th Floor NCL 
Tower, 445 Minnesota St., St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent)

Martin J. Costello, Karen J. Kampa, Student Attorney, Hughes 
& Costello, 1230 Landmark Towers, 345 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 
MN 55102-1637 (for Respondent)

Rick E. Mattox, First District Public Defender, Suzanne E. 
Flinsch, Asst. Public Defender, 7300 West 147th St., #400, 
Apple Valley, MN 55124 (for Appellant)
	Considered and decided by Norton, Presiding Judge, 
Parker, Judge, and Harten, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


	Appellant challenges his driving convictions, arguing that 
he was subjected to an unconstitutional stop by the arresting 
officer.  We affirm.


	On December 18, 1994, appellant Lance Demuth was 
arrested and charged with gross misdemeanor DWI, aggravated 
DWI, gross misdemeanor refusal to submit to testing, and gross 
misdemeanor driving after cancellation of license.  At his 
omnibus hearing, Demuth moved to suppress all evidence 
obtained as a result of the arresting officer's investigatory stop, 
arguing that the stop was unconstitutional.
	At the hearing, the officer testified that at 12:50 a.m., on 
Sunday, December 18, he was driving an unmarked car and was 
about to exit from a West St. Paul Taco Bell restaurant parking 
lot.  The officer was in full uniform.  Demuth entered the 
parking lot at the same driveway, such that the two cars' driver's 
sides were directly adjacent.  The driver's window was down in 
each car.  As Demuth passed the officer, he stuck his hand out 
the window, directed an obscene gesture towards the officer 
("flipped [him] the bird"), and yelled "F--k you" at the officer.  
Demuth then continued into the restaurant's drive-through line.  
The officer pulled in behind Demuth, approached his car, and 
asked to see his driver's license.  The officer then observed 
indicia of intoxication and later arrested Demuth.
	The officer testified that he stopped Demuth because of 
the gesture and obscenity.  The officer believed that Demuth's 
acts constituted disorderly conduct.  The officer was also 
concerned that similar conduct, if continued at the restaurant, 
could instigate a breach of the peace.  He testified that problems 
with disorderly people, fights, and drunkenness often occurred 
on weekend nights at that particular restaurant, to an extent that 
the restaurant usually hired an off-duty police officer to provide 
security on those nights; in fact, a security officer was on duty at 
the time of Demuth's arrest.  The officer stated that he had 
responded to such circumstances at the restaurant earlier that 
evening and that similar words and gestures had led to 
altercations and criminal activity there in the past.  The officer 
stated that there were people in the parking lot and a number of 
cars in the drive-through line at the time he approached Demuth.
	The trial court denied Demuth's motion to suppress, 
concluding that the stop was lawful.  Demuth waived a jury trial 
and submitted his case on stipulated facts.  The trial court 
convicted Demuth on all charges, and this appeal followed.


	The only issue is whether the stop of Demuth was 
constitutional.  The state conceded in the trial court that the 
officer's actions constituted a stop for Fourth Amendment 
	Under the fourth amendment to the United States 
Constitution, a police officer may not stop a motor vehicle 
without a reasonable basis.  A brief investigatory stop 
requires only reasonable suspicion of criminal activity 
rather than probable cause.  The suspicion must be 
"specific and articulable" before such a stop is justified.

Warrick v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 374 N.W.2d 585, 586 
(Minn. App. 1985) (citations omitted).
The suspicion that the officer must be able to articulate 
must be more than an unarticulated "hunch;" the officer 
must be able to point to something that objectively 
supports his suspicion.

State v. Johnson, 444 N.W.2d 824, 825-26 (Minn. 1989).  The 
stop cannot be the product of "mere whim, caprice, or idle 
curiosity."  Id. at 827.  Courts consider the "totality of the 
circumstances," which must be viewed from the perspective of a 
trained officer who may make "inferences and deductions that 
might well elude an untrained person."  State v. Claussen, 353 
N.W.2d 688, 690 (Minn. App. 1984).  An actual traffic violation 
is not required, Warrick, 374 N.W.2d at 586, and innocent 
activity may justify the suspicion of criminal activity.  Johnson, 
444 N.W.2d at 826.  The threshold required for an investigatory 
stop is very low.  Claussen, 353 N.W.2d at 690.  We evaluate 
an officer's investigatory stop under an objective standard, 
unlimited by the officer's subjective rationale.  State v. Pleas, 
329 N.W.2d 329, 332 (Minn. 1983).
	We accept a trial court's findings unless they are clearly 
erroneous; we independently apply the law to the facts so found. 
 State v. Saffeels, 484 N.W.2d 429, 430 (Minn. App. 1992), 
review denied (Minn. June 1, 1992).  Although the trial court did 
not specifically make a credibility finding here, its findings 
suggest that it accepted the officer's testimony as true.  
Moreover, Demuth has not challenged any of those findings.  
Therefore, we face a legal question; we must "simply analyze the 
testimony of the officer and determine whether, as a matter of 
law, his observations provided an adequate basis for the stop."  
Berge v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 374 N.W.2d 730, 732 
(Minn. 1985).
	Demuth argues that his conduct did not constitute 
disorderly conduct because it consisted solely of protected 
speech.  See Minn. Stat.  609.72, subd. 1(3) (1994); In re 
Welfare of S.L.J., 263 N.W.2d 412 (Minn. 1978).  We need not 
address that issue, however, because we conclude that the officer 
had a reasonable suspicion that disorderly conduct and other 
criminal activity would ensue at the restaurant.
	Here the officer testified that problems with fighting, 
disorderly conduct, and intoxication were common at this 
restaurant, especially on weekend nights; that earlier that same 
evening such problems had occurred at the restaurant; that past 
conduct similar to Demuth's had provoked criminal activity at 
that restaurant; and that a number of people were present at the 
restaurant at the time of Demuth's conduct (we regard that time, 
10 minutes before bar-closing on a Saturday night, as 
significant).  In addition, because the officer was in uniform, it 
was reasonable for him to believe that Demuth intentionally 
directed his provocative conduct towards a police officer.  
Moreover, as the trial court objectively noted, there was reason 
to suspect that Demuth was under the influence of alcohol.  
These facts and inferences are sufficient to give rise to a 
reasonable, articulable suspicion of potential criminal activity.   
Accordingly, we hold constitutionally valid the investigatory stop 
of Demuth that led to his arrest and convictions.

       Demuth cites United States v. Bellamy, 619 A.2d 515 
(D.C. 1993), in which the District of Columbia Court of Appeals 
held that a certain gesture by the driver did not give rise to a 
reasonable suspicion of a firearm violation.  That case, however, 
is inapposite because our analysis depends entirely on the 
particular facts and circumstances of the case before us.