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UNITED STATES v. CANTY

March 10, 1969

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Jimmy CANTY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PRATT

 This is a motion by defendant Jimmy Canty, Criminal Case No. 3-69, for the suppression of evidence and for the return to him of certain monies. Defendant contends (a) that his arrest was without probable cause and thus invalid, and (b) that the search incident to the arrest was unlawful and that the property seized must be suppressed under the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine. Evidence was heard at a hearing held on January 31, 1969.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 Shortly before 5:30 p.m. on November 5, 1968, Officer James Hale of the Metropolitan Police Department, while walking a beat in the vicinity of the Safeway store at 645 Milwaukee Place, S.E., Washington, D.C., was informed by a citizen that the store had been robbed. Officer Hale immediately went to the store and obtained a description of the robber from the cashier (Negro-male, between 18 and 20 years of age, slim build, dark skin, attempting to grow an African bush haircut, and wearing a brown leather jacket). Additionally, he learned that nine hundred dollars in twenty-dollar bills had been taken.

 While engaged in conversation, the store's telephone rang and Hale was told that a female caller had information regarding the robber's identity. Hale then engaged in a five-minute question and answer conversation from which he received the following information:

 (1) The caller was in front of the Safeway store attempting to enter it when a person came out, bumped into her, and then continued to run across the parking lot;

 (2) She knew and recognized the person as "Jimmy";

 (3) He had something in his hand (the officer was unable to recall if she said that it was money or a bag);

 (4) She immediately entered the store and was told by people pointing toward the retreating figure that he had just robbed the store;

 (5) She gave a description of the defendant;

 (6) She gave the name and nearby address of his girlfriend;

 (7) She stated that he had passed some bad checks in the John Howard Clothing store;

 (8) She said that he hung around the clothing store and might be there now; and

 (9) She knew Jimmy to be a member of a local gang and because of fear of retribution, she was not going to ...


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