Border Patrol Detains Fleeing Hit and Run Suspect

MURRIETA, Calif. —  U.S. Border Patrol agents detained a convicted felon on Sunday, May 2, after he was involved in a hit and run accident.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., a Border Patrol agent arrived at the scene of a multi-vehicle car accident near the Interstate 15 immigration checkpoint.  A witness at the scene informed the agent that a man involved in the incident fled on foot before the agent arrived.  Witnesses were able to describe the man and said he was attempting to carjack someone before fleeing.

Responding agents quickly located a man, matching the description, walking along Interstate 15 north of the accident scene.  When agents stopped him for questioning, the man was uncooperative and resisted Border Patrol agents attempt to detain him.  However, the agents were able to deescalate the situation and convinced the man to comply with their orders.  He was detained by agents as they investigated the incident.

Record checks revealed that the man was a 49-year-old U.S. citizen with an extensive criminal history.  Investigating further, agents discovered the man had multiple felony and misdemeanor convictions.

California Highway Patrol (CHP), for the Temecula area, personnel arrived shortly after and took the man into custody, charging him with felony DUI and felony hit and run.

The Border Patrol declined to disclose the arrested man’s name, allegedly in case Vice President Kamala Harris decides to set him free or places him on a taxpayer-paid plane to the Midwest.

Supreme Court to take up Fourth Amendment warrant case involving garage door and DUI

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will weigh in on exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. The Fourth Amendment generally requires police officers to get a warrant before entering a home.

The Supreme Court has recognized an exception to that rule for emergencies, such as when the police are in hot pursuit of a suspect. In Lange v. California, the justices agreed to decide whether that exception applies when police are pursuing a suspect whom they believe committed a misdemeanor.

California Highway Patrol logo

The case revolves around Arthur Lange of Sonoma, Calif., who was driving home on the highway in Sonoma. California highway patrol (CHP) officer Aaron Weikert pursued Lange with the intention of conducting a traffic stop. Weikert followed Lange home and activated his overhead lights, but not his siren, when he pulled into his home’s driveway.

Lange pulled into his garage and, as the garage door began closing behind him, Weikert stopped the garage from closing with his foot and approached Lange.

The CHP officer questioned Lange and asked him if he knew Weikert was following him. Lange said no. Weikert stated he smelled alcohol on Lange’s breath and charged Lange with driving under the influence. At trial, Lange claimed that Weikert’s entry into Lange’s home violated the Fourth Amendment since the CHP officer did not have a warrant to enter Lange’s home, and moved to throw out a video recording of the incident.

The trial court rejected that argument, and a state appeals court affirmed that ruling and, eventually, his conviction.

The California Court of Appeal also upheld his conviction, rebuffing Lange’s contention that the exception to the warrant requirement for a “hot pursuit” of a suspect should apply only in genuine emergencies, rather than when the police are investigating minor offenses. Instead, the court of appeal concluded, the warrantless entry did not violate the Constitution because the officer was in hot pursuit of Lange, whom he had probable cause to arrest for a misdemeanor.

Lange appealed to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to review the state court’s decision. The lower courts are “sharply divided” on the question of whether pursuits for misdemeanors justify a warrantless entry, Lange told the justices. And the California court’s rule, he added, would allow “officers investigating trivial offenses to invade the privacy of all occupants of a home even when no emergency prevents them from seeking a warrant.”

The case will likely be scheduled for argument in February 2021 or later, according to Amy Howe, writing in Scotusblog.

Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Bill of Rights

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.