State v. Fontes

In State v. Fontes, 195 Ariz. 229, 231 P8, 986 P.2d 897, 899 (App. 1998), an off-duty sheriff's deputy employed as a plainclothes security officer by a supermarket witnessed a theft by Steven Soto Fontes. 195 Ariz. at 230 P2, 986 P.2d at 898. With the store manager, the officer approached Fontes, showed him his sheriff's badge, identified himself as a deputy sheriff and told Fontes that he was under arrest. Id. The officer advised Fontes to cooperate and not to fight but to turn around so that he could be handcuffed. Id. Instead, Fontes ran out the door, where he was caught by the officer, who again informed Fontes that he was under arrest. Id. at P3. In being subdued, Fontes cursed, threatened and hit the officer in the face. Id. He was eventually handcuffed and still continued to curse and threaten the officer. Id. Convicted of resisting arrest, Fontes appealed. He argued that the officer was not "engaged in the execution of any official duties" or "acting under color of (the) officer's official authority." Id. at 231 P5, 986 P.2d at 899. The Court in affirming the conviction held that a sheriff's duty to preserve the peace applies even when the officer is not on duty. Id. at P8. The court noted that the deputy saw the crime take place, identified himself, showed official identification, followed official procedures and "attempted to execute his statutory duties by arresting Fontes." Id. at 232 P8, 986 P.2d at 900.