OH2: Inventory and tow of vehicle disabled in accident was reasonable under community caretaking function

Defendant’s vehicle was inventoried and then towed by Dayton PD because it was disabled after an accident blocking a busy intersection. There was no warning to defendant it was going to happen. It was within the community caretaking function of the police to tow the vehicle away and an inventory beforehand was reasonable. There is no Fourth Amendment requirement that the owner of the vehicle be given options. Other state cases that say so under their law are distinguished. State v. Fleming, 2020-Ohio-5352, 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 4205 (2d Dist. Nov. 20, 2020).

Defendant’s evasive maneuvers and traffic offenses was an alternative justification for his stop. Still, “In sum, this Court finds that based upon the wiretap investigation and the surveillance of the bag-exchange itself, including the subsequent flight by the Defendant that followed it, the agents possessed more than enough facts for reasonable suspicion to justify their seizure.” United States v. Alexander, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216898 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 19, 2020).*

The trial court suppressed three search warrants as based on conclusions and not sufficient facts. The affidavits did, in fact, supply sufficient facts to show probable cause including permissible hearsay. State v. Hart, 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 16555 (Fla. 5th DCA Nov. 20, 2020).*

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