Anchorage v. Dunkelberger

In Anchorage v. Dunkelberger, Memorandum Opinion and Judgment No. 106 (Alaska App., May 16, 1982), 1982 WL 889220, a police officer was investigating an automobile accident. One of the drivers involved in the accident informed the officer that the other driver had fled from the scene on foot. The officer was able to obtain information about the driver who had fled from the driver's vehicle registration. The driver who had remained at the scene pointed out the apartment to which the other driver had fled. The officer went to the apartment, saw the door was slightly ajar, and saw someone lying on the bed inside. After knocking and identifying himself, the police officer called out Dunkelberger's name. He heard a groan which he interpreted as a response and entered the apartment and arrested Dunkelberger. Dunkelberger moved to suppress. The Municipality argued that the officer's entry was justified either by the doctrine of hot pursuit or by Dunkelberger's consent. The Court upheld the trial court's ruling: "We believe that the trial court could reasonably conclude that the entry into Dunkelberger's apartment was not justified by hot pursuit. This exception clearly contemplates that the entry into a private residence must be necessary because of circumstances of an "emergency nature." There was no showing that there was an emergency which would justify a hot pursuit entry."