Does Flight Upon the Approach of Patrolling Police Officers In High Crime Areas Provide Articuable Suspicion for a Terry Stop ?
In State v. Savage, 211 Ga. App. 512 (439 S.E.2d 738) (1993) a police officer was on foot patrol around 2:00 a.m. in a "known drug area."
The officer saw a truck drive through the area several times in a 15-minute period, and then pull over to the curb and stop.
A pedestrian approached the vehicle, spoke with the driver (the defendant), and "made a gesture which alerted defendant to the officer's presence."
The defendant then "drove away after being alerted to the presence of" the officer, and was stopped by another officer.
The Court reversed the grant of the defendant's motion to suppress, stating that the defendant's actions of bringing to a halt what had been transpiring between him and the person with whom he was engaged, and distancing himself from that person and from the police when alerted to the latter's presence, was an objective manifestation of guilt.
There is no significant distinction between the facts in the case sub judice and those in other cases wherein we have held that flight upon the approach of patrolling police officers in high crime areas provided articulable suspicion for a Terry stop.