Defendant continued to struggle under the yoke grip as Lara attempted to move him toward the parked police car. As Lara's grip loosened, his partner and then Lara struck defendant with their fists, thereby subduing him. After handcuffing defendant, they took him to their station house.
At some disputed time after the stop, search, arrest, and beating, defendant made what was apparently intended to be an exculpatory statement about finding the shotgun. His counsel is concerned that this statement could be inculpatory in certain contexts. According to Lara, he had immediately given defendant an oral Miranda2 warning on the street after subduing him, and later witnessed defendant sign a printed Miranda form (PD-47) at the station house. When, at the suppression hearing defendant's counsel asked Lara to produce the completed written form, Lara could not find it in the file he had with him on the witness stand, and government counsel indicated that he did not have it at counsel table. On cross-examination Officer Lara was unable to recall specifically whether he ever saw defendant complete the specific elements of the prescribed waiver form.
The officers were attracted to defendant by his wearing a coat at 2:00 a.m. on a hot August night. They had also been advised at roll call that evening that there had been robberies in the area where they sighted defendant, and three suspects had been described, albeit without exquisite precision. Even discounting the alert about robberies and robbers, the Court is satisfied that in the circumstances the officers had "specific, articulable facts, which taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warranted" their approaching a person walking down a street in a high-crime area wearing a winter overcoat on a hot August night, asking him for identification and patting him down, both for their protection before production of the identification and as a predicate for a search for concealed weapons. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889, 88 S. Ct. 1868 (1968); United States v. White, 208 U.S. App. D.C. 289, 648 F.2d 29, 33 (D.C.Cir. 1981). A reasonable police officer could suspect, and Officer Lara did suspect, that the overcoat concealed a weapon. Consequently, the motion to suppress the weapon is denied.
The police did not, however, establish that the exculpatory/inculpatory statement was voluntarily made. The yoke grip was appropriate for disarming the defendant. But the two officers, one 6' and 230 pounds, and the other 5'10" and "normal" size, hit the slight defendant (he is 18 and about 5'4" and 120 pounds) with their fists instead of merely grappling him to get him to the car. They necessarily intimidated him, not only by the direct effect of those blows, but also by the implied threat that if defendant did not do as they wished, they could and would hit him again. See e.g. Chambers v. Florida, 309 U.S. 227, 84 L. Ed. 716, 60 S. Ct. 472 (1940). Furthermore, the failure of the government to produce the written Miranda waiver does not strengthen their claim that defendant made the questioned statement voluntarily. The Court finds that he did not. The motion to suppress the statement is thus granted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.