from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven P. Van
Marel, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals from the district court's denial of his
motion to suppress.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Theresa R. Wilson,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel Mullins, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Carr, S.J.
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Dunn appeals the district court's denial of his motion to
suppress. Dunn concedes that he initially engaged in a
consensual interaction with police officers but argues
actions taken by officers during the encounter resulted in
the unconstitutional seizure of his person. He also argues
his vehicle was unconstitutionally searched without a warrant
and without an applicable exception to the warrant
requirement. Finally, Dunn argues, in the alternative, that
he was subject to custodial interrogation without receiving a
Background Facts and Proceedings.
March 10, 2017, at approximately 1:25 a.m., two police
officers-in two separate marked police cars-pulled into an
area with freestanding gas pumps but no store or building
nearby. The officers pulled in behind a vehicle they noticed
had been parked there for several minutes with the
driver's door open. According to their testimony, the
officers intended to check on the driver and make sure there
was nothing wrong with him or the vehicle.
Andrej Klaric exited his vehicle at about the same time Dunn
exited the vehicle parked at the gas pump; they met in the
space between the two vehicles. Officer Klaric told Dunn he
saw his driver's door was open and was "[j]ust
making sure everything's okay." Dunn reported he
stopped at the gas pump after work and then realized he did
not have his debit or credit card with him; he was waiting at
the pump until his friend arrived with the card. Dunn and
Officer Klaric engaged in a conversation: Dunn told Klaric he
remembered him from another time he was stopped and Klaric
asked Dunn if he was still working at the same job he had
been before. At some point during the conversation, Officer
Klaric asked Dunn for his driver's license; Dunn gave it
to him, and Officer Klaric handed it to the second officer,
Officer Dilok Phanchantraurai, who checked the license by
radioing to dispatch.
Officer Phanchantraurai had Dunn's license, Officer
Klaric asked Dunn if he had any weapons on him. According to
Klaric, he did not have any suspicions of illegal activity
but always asks about weapons when he makes "contact
with somebody out in the field . . . for [his] own safety and
their own safety." Dunn responded that he had a pistol
in an ankle holster, and Officer Klaric asked Dunn to show
him his permit to carry the firearm. Dunn handed Officer
Klaric his permit, which had expired more than two months
earlier. Officer Klaric then informed Dunn his permit was
expired, patted Dunn down, and removed the loaded gun from
Dunn's ankle holster.
Klaric asked Dunn if he had any more firearms in the vehicle.
Dunn stated there were magazines for a firearm in the
vehicle. When asked, Dunn denied consent to search the
vehicle. Klaric then handcuffed Dunn and placed him in the
back of his squad car. Klaric searched the vehicle and found
a second gun and the magazines. He placed Dunn under arrest
for carrying a weapon. Before transporting him to the station
for booking, Officer Klaric got Dunn's consent to move
his car-rather than have it towed. During the booking
process, methamphetamine was located in Dunn's wallet.
was charged by trial information with carrying weapons and
possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine). He
filed a motion to suppress, claiming the officers had seized
him "after the purpose of the stop had been
resolved," he should have been advised of his
Miranda rights before being questioned, and the
search of his vehicle was unconstitutional.
district court denied Dunn's motion to suppress. The
court found that the initial encounter between Dunn and the
officers "was consensual. There was no stop. The
officers didn't use their red lights. They didn't
pull the defendant over. They just-the defendant was parked,
and they just pulled up to him and everybody got out of their
car and talked." The court distinguished the facts from
the recent State v. Coleman, 890 N.W.2d 284, 300-01
(Iowa 2017), in which our supreme court held that an officer
could not extend a stop to ask for the driver's
identification after the purpose of the stop had been
resolved. Here, the district court noted, "[U]nlike
Coleman this wasn't a stop situation. They