OH3: Witnessing man walk up to passenger window and reach inside then leave seen from 100 yds away was speculation of a hand-to-hand drug transaction; no RS

The officer was located one hundred yards away from defendant’s car, and he saw a pedestrian walk up to the car, reach inside, turn around, and walk away. The officer could not determine whether an exchange had occurred between the pedestrian and defendant, and whether one did was speculation or a hunch. No reasonable suspicion for a stop. State v. Kerr, 2017-Ohio-8516, 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 4938 (3d Dist. Nov. 13, 2017).

The trial court erred by granting defendant’s motion to suppress because the record supported the conclusion that defendant’s decision to consent to a search of his person was an act of free will rather than a mere submission to a claim of lawful authority. There was no evidence that there were multiple officers on scene. At the point the officer asked defendant to submit to a search, he had not even attempted to search the driver; defendant could not have reasonably assumed that he was obligated to submit to a search of his person. Moreover, there was no evidence that the wording of the officer’s request was impliedly coercive or made consent appear mandatory. State v. Bramley, 2017-Ohio-8512, 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 4925 (9th Dist. Nov. 13, 2017).*

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