from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carla Schemmel,
defendant appeals his conviction following the denial of his
motion to suppress.
A. Bergmann of Bergmann Law Firm, P.L.L.C., Mt. Pleasant, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary Miller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Mai appeals the judgment and sentence following the denial of
his motion to suppress. Mai maintains the officer did not
have reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle in which he was
a passenger. Because we find the officer did not have a
reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop the vehicle, we
reverse the denial of Mai's motion to suppress and remand
for further proceedings.
Background Facts & Proceedings
January 24, 2017, at around 6:00 p.m., Des Moines Police
Officer Ryan Garrett received a radio report of reckless
driving by a silver Audi. The report included the Audi's
license plate number. The officer drove to the reported
location to look for the vehicle. While looking, he received
a second report of a man in the same silver Audi pointing a
gun at the 911 caller. As the officer drove north on 24th
Street, a woman driving a southbound vehicle stopped to tell
him the vehicles he was looking for were just behind her.
Garrett activated his lights and stopped two vehicles: a
silver Audi with the license plate number identified in the
911 calls and a tan Chevy Impala. Four persons were in the
Audi, two were in the Chevy. Mai was the passenger in the
Chevy. Prior to stopping the vehicles, Officer Garrett did
not witness any reckless driving and did not see the reported
officers arrived to assist Officer Garrett, who had drawn his
service weapon on the vehicles, and everyone was ordered out
of both vehicles. During the subsequent searches of the
vehicle occupants, marijuana and cash were found in Mai's
filed a motion to suppress, asserting the stop of the vehicle
he was in was illegal and all evidence obtained from the stop
should be suppressed. The district court found the eyewitness
report telling the officer "the two cars behind her were
the ones involved" considered together with the earlier
911 reports about the silver Audi constituted reasonable
suspicion to stop the Chevy as well as the Audi. The court
denied Mai's motion.
a trial on the minutes of testimony, the court found Mai
guilty of possession of a controlled substance with intent to
deliver. Mai appeals.