The opinion of the court was delivered by
Cub Riddle appeals his conviction of one count of aggravated
sodomy (K.S.A. 21-3506). He argues that the evidence police
seized after he was arrested should have been suppressed. Riddle
claims that, because officers seized him on the front porch of
his dwelling prior to obtaining an arrest warrant, the arrest was
illegal and the evidence obtained after the illegal arrest should
have been suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree. We disagree
and affirm the district court.
On March 6, 1988, Ms. S. informed the police that she had been
abducted and sexually attacked earlier that morning by a black
male named Cub, whom she had met at a party the previous evening.
Although Ms. S. had driven the man to his home, she could not
remember his address. One of her friends told police that the man
lived at 5131 Dodson in Kansas City, Kansas. When
the police checked the address, they were met at the door by a
black male who identified himself as Cub Riddle. The officers
asked Riddle to step outside. When he did, the officer arrested
him and seized from the dwelling the clothing he said he had worn
the previous evening. On appeal, Riddle claims the trial court
erred in failing to suppress the evidence that was seized from
his home in conjunction with an unlawful, warrantless arrest.
Other facts will be provided as necessary.
Two of the statutory circumstances under which a law
enforcement officer may arrest a person are when (1) the officer
has a warrant commanding that the person be arrested, and (2) the
officer has probable cause to believe that the person has
committed a felony. K.S.A. 22-2401.
Here, officers had probable cause to believe an individual had
committed a felony but had not obtained a warrant for his arrest.
There is a constitutional distinction as to where a warrantless
arrest may be executed. A valid arrest for a felony may be made
without a warrant in a public place based upon probable cause.
However, the existence of probable cause does not per se
authorize a forcible entry into a person's residence to make a
warrantless arrest. State v. Platten, 225 Kan. 764, 768,
594 P.2d 201 (1979).
Following our decision in Platten, the United States Supreme
Court decided Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 63 L.Ed.2d 639,
100 S.Ct. 1371 (1980). In Payton, officers broke into a murder
suspect's apartment prior to obtaining a warrant for his arrest.
The Supreme Court held that, unless special circumstances are
present, warrantless arrests in the home are unconstitutional.
445 U.S. at 590. In reaching its decision, the Court recognized
the purpose of the Fourth Amendment in limiting the authority of
general warrants that are not based upon probable cause. The
Court noted that "the `physical entry of the home is the chief
evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is
directed.'" 445 U.S. at 585.
In the present case, the trial court found that Riddle had been
arrested in a lawful manner outside his home in a public place,
i.e., on his front porch. The arresting officer, Detective
"Q. What did you do next?
"A. I contacted another detective named Kenneth Allen
and advised him I was going back out to the
Dodson address to see if in fact a black male
lived at that address by the name of Cub. And
asked him if he would meet me. We proceeded to
the area of approximately 51 and Gibbs and waited
for assistance from the South Patrol Uniform
Division so there would be no misunderstanding
that we were in fact police officers. 2 uniformed
officers arrived. I advised them where we were
going and what the purpose of our going there
was. The 2 officers and the detective and myself
then proceeded to 5131 Dodson, and exited the
vehicle. One uniformed officer went to the back
of the residence, one started towards the side of
the residence and we approached the front. A
young black male came to the front door. I
identified myself as a police officer. A
uniformed officer came to my side and Detective
Allen was on my left. I asked the man what his
name was. He identified himself as Cub Riddle. I
asked him to step outside, we'd like to talk to
him. He exited the residence and stood on a small
stone on the front porch. I advised him why we
were there and that a complaint had been lodged
and we believed he was a suspect in a rape and we
would have to ask him to come with us to the
Police Department of Kansas City, Kansas so we
could interview him. He said he would like to get
some clothing on. He just had a pair of pants on.
We told him we would need the clothes he wore the
"Q. Did he give them to you?
"A. Yes. He ushered us into the residence and his
wife was sitting on the divan by the door as you
enter. We entered a small bedroom where he got
dressed and handed us some clothing. That was a
green coat and a pair of blue nylon type pants
and a pair of black tennis shoes and I believe a
T-shirt. We then proceeded back into the front
room. Officer Nelson took Mr. Riddle to his
patrol car and transported him to the Detective
Bureau. At that time I talked to Mrs. Sherri
Riddle and explained to her what we were doing
and why we were there. She had not moved from the
divan from the time we arrived. I asked her if
she could maybe shed some light on the
whereabouts of her husband."
Though Riddle claims he was arrested before he exited the
house, the testimony of Detective Allen and Riddle's wife,
Sherri, supports the district court's finding that he was
arrested outside the house. Where the district court has made
findings of fact and conclusions of law, the function of
appellate courts> is to determine whether the findings are
supported by substantial competent evidence and whether the
findings are sufficient to support the trial court's conclusions
of law. City of Overland Park v. McLaughlin,
10 Kan. App. 2d 537, 545, 704 P.2d 997 (1985), aff'd
238 Kan. 637 (1986). There is substantial competent evidence to support
the trial court's finding that Riddle was arrested on ...