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Arthur Lee Woody appeals from his convictions for loitering and prowling, possession of cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The convictions were entered upon his plea of nolo contendere in which he reserved his right to appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress. Woody contends that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to arrest him for the crime of loitering and prowling. We agree and, accordingly, reverse. At the hearing on the appellant's motion to suppress, Sergeant Busbee of the Lee County Sheriff's Department testified that at 6:40 p.m. he was in a marked patrol unit and entered a residential area known for its drug-related activity. He noticed a gathering of several males who immediately took flight. One of them, the appellant, entered and hid himself in an area of dense foliage thirty to forty feet from any residence. The sergeant approached the appellant and asked him to come out and explain what he was doing. The appellant replied that he was ""just hanging out."" This explanation did not satisfy the sergeant so he arrested the appellant for loitering and prowling. In the ensuing search incident to this arrest, a crack pipe containing cocaine residue was found on Woody's person. The sergeant stated that he arrested the appellant because he was hiding in the bushes and the sergeant was concerned for the safety of passersby who might be robbed or kidnapped by the appellant. The previous week the sergeant had warned the appellant that he could go to jail for loitering and prowling in this area.

Professional & Technical
June 19
LawApp Publishers
Innodata Book Distribution Services Inc

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