Scope of Protective Sweeps (Part 3)

by | May 9, 2022 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

The New Jersey Supreme Court continued in relevant part: The police transported Radel to headquarters and secured the residence. After obtaining a search warrant, the police found multiple weapons, drugs and related paraphernalia, and over $8,000 in cash. The trial court denied Radel’s motion to suppress the evidence, and the Appellate Division reversed, finding “no support for the trial court’s conclusion that the police had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that there were other persons inside the home or that they posed a risk to the police or others.” 465 N.J. Super. 65, 78 (App. Div. 2020). The Court granted certification. 245 N.J. 466 (2021).

Terres: On September 11, 2017, a Superior Court judge issued a warrant for Tyler Fuller’s arrest. Detective John J. Petrosky, a member of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s fugitive unit, learned that Fuller might be staying with defendant Keith Terres at the Ca Nook Trailer Park in Salem County and spoke with Trooper Richard Hershey to coordinate efforts to arrest Fuller. Trooper Hershey told Detective Petrosky that Terres was in the custody of the State Police and had been arrested for possessing “a large amount of narcotics.” Thereafter, Trooper Hershey learned from Terres that Fuller might be staying in the first building to the right in the trailer park.

On the morning of September 14, Detective Petrosky and Sergeant Koller of the Prosecutor’s Office, accompanied by Trooper Hershey and Trooper Smith, went to the trailer park to arrest Fuller. The four officers went directly to the front building where Terres had said Fuller might be found. As Detective Petrosky and Trooper Hershey approached the front door, which was wide open, they observed two men inside, later identified as Mark Boston and William Willis. As soon as Petrosky announced their presence, Boston ran toward a bedroom. Detective Petrosky pursued him, believing that he might be Fuller, while Trooper Hershey stayed with Willis.

It is strange that someone so concerned with being seen by the police would leave their door wide open. It is possible that the police embellished this assertion in an effort to justify their entry.