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STATE v. ROSS
July 13, 1990.
STATE OF KANSAS, Appellant,
WILLIAM E. ROSS, Appellee.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
This is an appeal by the prosecution, pursuant to K.S.A.
22-3602(b)(1), from the district court's dismissal of the
complaint filed herein. The district court held that the South
Hutchinson police officer who arrested the defendant in
Hutchinson was not assisting Hutchinson police officers at the
time and, hence, had no authority to arrest the defendant.
The pertinent statute is K.S.A. 22-2401a, which provides, in
"(2) Law enforcement officers employed by any city
may exercise their powers as law enforcement
(a) Anywhere within the city limits of the city
employing them and outside of such city when on
property owned or under the control of such city; and
(b) in any other place when a request for
assistance has been made by law enforcement officers
from that place or when in fresh pursuit of a
person." (Emphasis supplied.)
The evidence relied upon by the district court consisted of the
joint affidavit of the two involved Hutchinson officers (Rankin
and French) and the testimony of the arresting South Hutchinson
officer (Stofer). Appellate review herein does not involve the
reweighing of conflicting evidence. The underlying facts are not
The joint affidavit states, in pertinent part:
"I, Patrolman R.A. Rankin and Patrolman S.R.
French, of the Hutchinson Police Department, Reno
County, State of Kansas, being of lawful age and duly
sworn upon my oath, depose and state:
"THAT at about 13:00 hours of August 24, 1988, we
were dispatched to 617 East C, Hutchinson, Reno
County, Kansas, to assist the Hutchinson Fire
Department on a residential fire. This was the
residence of Debbie Drum. Due to the suspicious
nature of the fire, we were called to the scene.
Patrolman French and myself checked for local
warrants on the person's [sic] present at the
residence, including the individual identified as
William Ross. Patrolman French and myself were
advised by the Dispatcher that a South Hutchinson,
Kansas, Court held an active warrant on William Ross.
Officer French called for South Hutchinson officers
to come to the scene to arrest and transport William
Ross. Officer Dennis Stofer of the South Hutchinson
Police Department was dispatched to 617 East C,
Huchinson, Kansas, because of that request and
arrested William E. Ross and placed him [in] custody.
Officer French and myself remained at the scene of
the fire, which was later determined to be a possible
The testimony of Officer Stofer was that he was on patrol when
he received a call from his dispatcher to check and see if the
warrant for William E. Ross was still active. The officer carried
all active warrants in his patrol car. He confirmed the active
status of the warrant and relayed that information to his
dispatcher. He testified that the following events then occurred:
"Q. (Defendant's counsel) . . . And then what
happened once you verified for the Reno County
dispatch that you did have an active warrant for
"A. The dispatchers advised me over the radio that
the Hutchinson Police were at 617 East C in
Hutchinson at the scene of a fire and that Mr.
Ross was at that location, also. And they were
requesting me to come to that location.
"Q. And what was your understanding as to why you
were being requested to go to that location at
that time at 617 East C in Hutchinson?
"A. It was my understanding that they wished me to
come there and execute the arrest warrant.
"Q. Okay, and once you gained that understanding what
did you do next then to act upon it?
"A. I then drove to 617 East C in Hutchinson where I
was met by two Hutchinson police officers at the
scene of the fire. They took me to the back yard
of 617 East C, introduced me to Mr. Ross and at
that time I advised him of his warrant and placed
him under arrest.
. . . .
"Q. And once the Hutchinson police officers took you
up to Mr. Ross, did they remain at that location
or did they leave and perform other duties?
"A. One of them walked back to the patrol car with me
and to the best of my knowledge they remained
there until the fire scene was cleaned up and the
roadways were cleared again.
"Q. Was it your understanding that the Hutchinson
Police Department was at that location at 617
East C because of the fire?
"A. Yes, sir.
. . . .
"Q. And did you have him get into your patrol car?
"A. Yes, sir; I did.
"Q. And what did you do with him then at that time?
"A. I then transported him to the Reno County
"Q. And when you got to the Reno County Detention
Center, then what happened there?
"A. During the booking process I asked Mr. Ross to
remove the items from his pockets and he removed
those items and then as standard procedure in the
detention procedure I completed a pat down search
of him to make sure that he emptied everything
from his pockets.
"Q. Had he forgotten anything?
"A. Yes, sir; he had.
"Q. What was still there?
"A. In the right rear pocket I found a syringe which
I showed to the sergeant on duty at the time,
which was Sergeant Divelbiss.
"Q. Is that Ruth Divelbiss?
"A. Yes, sir. And on seeing that then she requested
that we do a complete strip search of Mr. Ross
and his clothing.
"Q. Did you perform a strip search?
"A. Yes, sir; we did.
. . . .
"Q. And what, if anything, did you find in this strip
"A. During the strip search I found a plastic bag
the first plastic bag I found was removed from
the watch pocket of his blue jeans.
"A. And this bag contained a small quantity of a
yellowish, powdery substance. Second plastic bag
was also removed from that pocket and inside that
bag were two other bags and inside those, all
three of those bags contained four smaller bags
which held the same apparently the same white
"Q. So I guess basically you found the syringe
initially and then after you found the syringe
you found some little packets of white powder?
"A. Yes, sir.
"Q. And was that the extent of what you found that
you felt violated the law?
"A. Yes, sir."
Note: The complaint involved in this appeal contains three
drug-related charges, which all arise from the items taken from
defendant's person upon arrest on the traffic warrant.
We continue with excerpts from Officer Stofer's testimony:
"Q. Was it your understanding that you were assisting
someone in Hutchinson by coming into Hutchinson
or that you were being asked to come into
Hutchinson by an officer so that you could
execute the search (sic) warrant here?
"A. It was my understanding that I was asked to come
into Hutchinson to execute an arrest warrant.
"Q. By arrest by executing that arrest warrant did
you understand that you were assisting any of the
law enforcement officers in Hutchinson in the
performance of their duties?
"A. That's correct. They were currently
"Q. How were you helping them?
"A. They were currently involved in traffic control
at the fire scene and ...
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