STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:
Filed December 28, 1999
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.
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.
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.
Whoever intentionally does any of the following may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2:
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(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).