Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:
Filed May 26, 1998
Hennepin County District Court
File No. J8-97-057644
Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Beverly J. Benson, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent state)
William E. McGee, Hennepin County Public Defender, Warren E. Sagstuen, Assistant Public Defender, 317 Second Avenue South, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401-0809 (for appellant D.L.G.)
Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
D.L.G., a juvenile, appeals from an order adjudicating him delinquent for possessing a pistol in violation of Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subds. 1(a) and 2 (1996). He claims that his initial stop was unlawful and that evidence obtained after the stop should have been suppressed. Because we conclude that the stop was lawful, we affirm.
Under the facts of this case, we conclude that D.L.G.'s investigatory restraint was lawful. At the time of his stop, D.L.G. was walking after park hours in an unlit area of Minnehaha Falls Park in violation of the park ordinance; he changed the direction he was walking after making eye contact with a police officer; D.L.G. and one of his two companions wore gang colors; and D.L.G. appeared to reach into his pocket while his back was turned to the police officer after the officer ordered the juveniles to stop and turn around. In addition, the police officer was personally aware of six recent gang incidents in the park and had been informed at roll call that day about other recent gang activities in the park. These circumstances provide a proper basis for D.L.G.'s investigatory restraint. See In re Welfare of G.M., 560 N.W.2d 687, 695 (Minn. 1997) (probable cause for search or arrest exists if prudent person would believe person in question had committed a crime); State v. Dickerson, 481 N.W.2d 840, 843 (Minn. 1992) (defendant's "evasive conduct after eye contact with police" and presence in high crime area provided proper basis for Terry stop), aff'd, 508 U.S. 366, 113 S. Ct. 2130 (1993); State v. Johnson, 444 N.W.2d 824, 827 (Minn. 1989) (deliberately evasive conduct of motorist provided trooper reasonable basis for suspecting motorist of misconduct); State v. Conaway, 319 N.W.2d 35, 40 (Minn. 1982) (officer entitled to use "collective knowledge" of police department in determining whether probable cause exists to arrest); see also United States v. Feliciano, 45 F.3d 1070, 1074 (7th Cir.) (police knowledge of person's gang association "permissible component of the articulable suspicion required for a Terry stop"), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 853, 116 S. Ct. 153 (1995).
While D.L.G. disputes whether he made eye contact with the police officer and the timing of the throwing of his pistol, factual determinations on these issues were credibility determinations to be made by the trial court. See Dickerson, 481 N.W.2d at 843 (reviewing court accords "great deference" to trial court's credibility determinations). Thus, as the stop and seizure were lawful, the fruits of the search, namely D.L.G.'s confession and the pistol, were properly admissible.