ARS 13-2508(A) Interpretation

In State v. Womack, 174 Ariz. 108, 847 P.2d 609 (App. 1992), the Court considered the scope of A.R.S. 13-2508(A) in the context of an individual who fled on a motorcycle from officers attempting to arrest him and was subsequently convicted of resisting arrest under A.R.S. 13-2508(A)(2). 174 Ariz. 108, 847 P.2d 609. Police officers in a vehicle attempted to stop the defendant for a traffic violation. Id. at 110, 847 P.2d at 611. After a chase of several miles, the motorcycle driver was arrested. Id. The arrest itself happened without incident. Id. The court reversed the defendant's conviction under A.R.S. 13-2508(A)(2). Id. at 114, 847 P.2d at 615. As part of its analysis, the court noted that A.R.S. 13-2508 was derived from Hawaii Revised Statutes 710-1026. Id. at 111, 847 P.2d at 612. The Womack court noted that the commentator to the Hawaii statute included the following comment: The Code deals specifically with resisting arrest out of a desire to confine the offense to forcible resistance that involves some substantial danger to the person. Mere non-submission ought not to be an offense. One who runs away from an arresting officer or who makes an effort to shake off the officer's detaining arm might be said to obstruct the officer physically, but this type of evasion or minor scuffling is not unusual in an arrest, nor would it be desirable to make it a criminal offense to flee arrest. In this case the proper social course is to authorize police pursuit and use of reasonable force to effect the arrest. If the actor is captured, he may be convicted of the underlying offense. If conviction cannot be had, it would be a grave injustice to permit prosecution for an unsuccessful effort, by an innocent man, to evade the police. Id.