from the Marion Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
49D09-1701-JD-70 Honorable Marilyn A. Moores, Judge
M. Schumm Indianapolis, Indiana Attorney for Appellant
T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Ellen H. Meilaender
Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana Attorneys for
The juvenile court entered true findings that J.R. was
delinquent for committing acts that would be dangerous
possession of a firearm and carrying a handgun without a
license,  had they been committed by an adult. J.R.
appeals, arguing that the police, when conducting a pat-down
search, violated his rights under the United States and
Indiana Constitutions to be free from unreasonable searches
and that the dual adjudications violate double jeopardy
principles. Finding that the pat-down search did not violate
his rights, but that the adjudication for carrying a handgun
without a license must be vacated, we affirm the adjudication
for dangerous possession of a firearm, vacate the
adjudication for carrying a handgun without a license, and
remand with instructions.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. on January 10, 2017, a police
dispatch advised that "three black males" wearing
"dark clothing" were "trying to open vehicles
and take items out of cars" in a Family Dollar parking
lot on the east side of Indianapolis. Tr. p. 8-9. When
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Richard Christian
responded to the scene, he saw three Black males, two of whom
were trying to enter a vehicle while the third was standing
behind it. No one else was at the scene. After Officer
Christian shined his light on them, the three males fled the
area. The officer described one of the men as wearing
"dark clothing" and another one as "sorta
tall, maybe five-ten . . . with a black jacket and a white
stripe." Id. at 9.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Nicholas
Snow, who had been on the force for only a few months, and
Field Training Officer Mark Klonne were patrolling a nearby
area. After hearing the dispatch regarding the fleeing
suspects, they went to help set up a perimeter. Approximately
five minutes later, Officer Snow exited his vehicle and
stopped sixteen-year-old J.R. and another young man as they
walked down a street in Indianapolis because they matched the
description of two of the suspects. Both J.R. and the other
man were wearing black; J.R. had "white Adidas stripes
down his sleeve." Id. at 21. J.R. told Officer
Snow that "I'm not f**king talking to you" and
walked away. Id. at 27. Officer Snow tried to catch
up, but J.R. began walking faster and disregarded another
order to stop. At that point, Officer Snow grabbed J.R. and
placed him in handcuffs.
Officer Snow decided to conduct a pat-down search of J.R.
because the officer "was in danger of losing eyesight of
Officer Klonne, " who was with the other young man.
Id. at 33. Officer Snow patted down J.R.'s waist
and the area behind his back where his hands were cuffed. The
officer did not find anything during his search, and he
walked J.R. back to the patrol car.
When they were back at the patrol car, Officer Snow asked
J.R. questions to ascertain his identity and why he had
refused to stop. Officer Snow observed that J.R. was
"moving his legs in such a manner" and turning as
if he was "trying to adjust something, " even after
being asked to stop moving. Id. at 34. Officer Snow
conducted a second pat-down that included a "pant sweep
. . . up the left leg all the way to the groin."
Id. at 39. Officer Snow felt a hard, cylindrical
object that he believed to be a gun, which he seized. He
stated that he found the gun "tracking the left side of
his pants up underneath his groin . . . concealed in-between
. . . really his hip joint and, . . . where his scrotum would
be. It was tucked that far up into his body."
Id. at 43.
On January 13, 2017, the State filed a petition alleging that
J.R. had committed dangerous possession of a firearm and
carrying a handgun without a license, both Class A
misdemeanors if committed by an adult. A factfinding hearing
took place on February 9, 2017, after which the juvenile
court entered true findings on both allegations. On March 14,
2017, a dispositional hearing took place, and the juvenile
court placed J.R. on probation with a suspended commitment to
the Department of Correction. J.R. now appeals.
Search and Seizure
J.R. argues that because there was no reasonable suspicion
that he was armed, his rights under the Fourth Amendment to
the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of
the Indiana Constitution were violated when the police
conducted a pat-down search, and as a result, the ...