This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).


In the Matter of the Welfare of:

Filed December 28, 1999
Willis, Judge

Hennepin County District Court
File No. JX98070387

William E. McGee, Hennepin County Public Defender, Peter W. Gorman, Assistant Public Defender, Elizabeth M. Fowlds, Certified Student Attorney, 317 Second Avenue South, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (for appellant B.M.M.)

Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and

Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Mary M. Lynch, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)

Considered and decided by Short, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Anderson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


Appellant B.M.M. claims there is insufficient evidence to support a delinquency adjudication that he obstructed legal process in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.50 (1998). We affirm.


On November 1, 1998, Officer Correy Farniok was on patrol in Minnetonka Beach. At approximately 3:15 a.m., Officer Farniok noticed a vehicle approaching from his rear that swerved and almost hit his patrol vehicle. Officer Farniok, suspicious that the driver of the vehicle might be intoxicated, followed the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop by activating his emergency lights and then his siren. The vehicle did not pull over but rather made a turn onto an intersecting street.

When the vehicle finally came to a stop, both the passenger's door and driver's door opened and the two occupants began to flee. The passenger fell as he ran from the vehicle. Officer Farniok identified himself as a police officer, told the passenger to stop, and gave chase on foot when the passenger kept running. After a chase of two to three blocks, Officer Farniok apprehended the individual, who identified himself as B.M.M.


B.M.M. argues that the evidence does not support the juvenile court's adjudication that B.M.M. violated Minn. Stat. § 609.50 (1998), which prohibits obstructing legal process. When reviewing a sufficiency-of-the-evidence claim, this court views the record and reasonable inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the juvenile court's adjudication. Welfare of S.A.M., 570 N.W.2d 162, 167 (Minn. App. 1997). A peace officer may stop a person for questioning where the officer can point to specific and articulable facts that, together with reasonable inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the invasion of the citizen's personal security. State v. Engholm, 290 N.W.2d 780, 783 (Minn. 1980). The statute under which B.M.M. was adjudicated provides:

Whoever intentionally does any of the following may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2:

* * * *

(2) obstructs, resists, or interferes with a peace officer while the officer is engaged in the performance of official duties.

Minn. Stat. § 609.50, subd. 1.

B.M.M. argues that because Officer Farniok initiated the traffic stop to investigate whether the driver of the vehicle was intoxicated, passenger B.M.M.'s flight from the traffic stop in no way interfered with the officer's duties. But Officer Farniok also testified that he suspected that the passenger of the vehicle, later identified as B.M.M., had littered by throwing items out the passenger's door after Officer Farniok had initiated the stop. Additionally, Officer Farniok suspected that B.M.M. was in violation of curfew because B.M.M. appeared to be a "juvenile" or "somewhat young" when he exited the vehicle and began to flee. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the adjudication, Officer Farniok was able to articulate specific facts that would justify questioning B.M.M. regarding littering and a suspected curfew violation. The juvenile court did not err by concluding that Officer Farniok was performing official duties when he sought to question B.M.M. and that B.M.M., by fleeing from Officer Farniok, obstructed legal process, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.50, subd. 1(2).